Monthly Archives: August 2013

In China, realizing the dream means doing what we say

The Communist Party of China loves its slogans. Each new top dog comes up with a catchy phrase to show that he is moving the country forward into a glorious land of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

And now the latest slogan is Living the Chinese Dream, as set forth by Xi Jinping.

Of course, the Chinese dream is being defined by the party leadership. Heaven forbid that individuals might have their own dream about what it means to be Chinese or a resident in China.

To make sure that people have the “right idea” about what the Chinese Dream is, the party is tightening the screws on the national media. But remember, in these days of dreams, it is not called censorship. Now the watch term is “correct guidance.”

Thanks to David Bandurski at the China Media Project in Hong Kong, we now have a better idea of how the media are to describe the Chinese Dream and how they are to build “positive energy”  for this dream.

Dreaming of docile news media

By David Bandurski | Posted on 2013-07-29

Correct guidance of public opinion,” the notion media must adhere to the discipline guidelines of the Chinese Communist Party in order to maintain social and political stability, remains the crux of press controls in China. But now, under the leadership of Xi Jinping, “correct guidance” is being retrofitted for the “Chinese dream,” the ruling Party’s latest leadership vision.

The first reaffirmation of the media’s propaganda role in the context of the “Chinese dream” came back in April, as scores of state-run media were lined up behind a statement called, “Creating Positive Energy for the Chinese Dream with a Fierce Sense of Social Responsibility.”

Rest of article

 

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Filed under Censorship, China

Chinese censors and social media

Excellent piece from China Digital Times on the impact the Chinese microblogging site WeiBo has on the government run media. And why the traditional censors are pulling their hair out trying to figure out how to put the toothpaste back in the tube.

Language and Censorship in State Media

Shortly after the English-language version of the Global Times reported on censorship on Sina Weibo late last month, the piece was removed from the state-run newspaper’s website. (It can still be seen via Google Cache and Greatfire.org). The article focused on overseas China-watching organizations working to preserve censored material:

With over 500 million registered users and over 46 million daily active users, Sina Weibo is the largest and most influential social media platform in China. It has also become known as a fostering ground for discussions with a more liberal slant.

But what is not allowed to be discussed on Weibo perhaps says just as much as what can be. There are a number of projects that aim to uncover content blocked on Weibo. Most of the people behind such efforts are China watchers based overseas or foreigners living in China. While they may have different approaches and backgrounds, their efforts are successful in bringing this vanished content back to light. […] [Source]

CDT was one of the organizations named—a “remarkable plug,” as pointed out by The Economist’s James Miles.

Rest of story

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Covering Egypt claims 3 journalists

3 JOURNALISTS KILLED IN EGYPT TURMOIL

By MAGGIE MICHAEL and JILL LAWLESS

CAIRO (AP) — Three journalists, including a cameraman for British broadcaster Sky News and a Dubai-based newspaper reporter, were killed and several were injured in the violence that erupted in Egypt on Wednesday.

Media watchdogs urged Egypt to investigate all attacks on journalists and to hold those responsible to account, condemning the casualties that occurred after riot police backed by armored vehicles, bulldozers and helicopters swept away two encampments of supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi.

Scores of people were killed in the violence nationwide.

Rest of story.

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March on Washington: The Organizer and The World Connection

August 28, 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington.

From that march, tens of thousands of people returned to their homes motivated to work harder to end racial discrimination. It was at that march that Martin Luther King gave his famous “I Have A Dream” speech.

And yet, one of the least know players in that event was Bayard Rustin. In fact, without Bayard the march would not have happened. Likewise, without Bayard the pacifist nature of the King campaign for racial equality might not have happened.

Now, Bayard is getting his due from the U.S. government. President Obama announced this month that Bayard will receive the Medal of Honor posthumously. The Medal of Honor is the highest award the U.S. government gives to civilians for service to the country.

Here is the White House write up on Bayard

Bayard Rustin

Bayard Rustin was an unyielding activist for civil rights, dignity, and equality for all. An advisor to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he promoted nonviolent resistance, participated in one of the first Freedom Rides, organized the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and fought tirelessly for marginalized communities at home and abroad. As an openly gay African American, Mr. Rustin stood at the intersection of several of the fights for equal rights.

Freedom House praised the action: “three resounding cheers for President Barack Obama’s decision to name Bayard Rustin as a posthumous recipient of the Medal of Freedom this year.”

Bayard always saw the connection between democracy and freedom in the United States with the fight for freedom around the world. In his later years, Bayard spent most of his time addressing these issues worldwide:

While much of his attention was focused on developments in Africa, he was among the first to speak out against the horrors Cambodians suffered under the genocidal policies of the Khmer Rouge, and he championed the causes of the Vietnamese boat people, the Solidarity trade union in Poland, and Soviet Jews. Bayard was increasingly concerned about the domination of African societies by repressive, thuggish dictatorships, and by the silence of black political figures in the United States over the region’s lack of freedom. Strongly influenced by the fate of European Jewry under Adolf Hitler’s persecution and by ongoing threats to Israel from its neighbors, Bayard came to adjust his pacifist views that had been formed in pre-Holocaust times.

“Brother Outsider” is a 2008 documentary about Bayard that fairly and distinctly tells his story. It is well worth a watch.

And lastly, I had the privilege of meeting and talking with Bayard on several occasions. His contributions to advancing a civil society need to better known and appreciated.

To repeat what Arch Puddington said: “Three resounding cheers for President Barack Obama’s decision.”

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Filed under Africa, Asia, Connections, International News Coverage

New site to help protect journalists

The International Federation of Journalists opened a website to campaign for journalists’ safety: Safety of Journalists

The website provides information on the strategies, programmes and activities related to the safety and human rights of journalists, including details on the IFJ International Safety Fund.

There will be regular advice on safety for journalists who need to work or travel to regions affected by conflicts, political instability and outbreak of diseases as well as natural disasters.

 

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