International Federation of
Journalists (IFJ) is concerned that China’s Southern Metropolitan newspaper suspended an editor from work due
to pressure by the Guangdong Provincial Propaganda Department.
newspaper’s Forum Page editor, known as Zhu, was suspended on April 13 after
approving the publication of an article with the headline, “Love of Country is
not equal to Love of Government”.
to local reports, the article was a hot topic among Chinese web-users just
hours after it was posted online. Local media workers believe that the intense
cyber activity generated by the article was likely to have drawn attention from
cyber monitors and the country’s Propaganda Departments.
article was removed from online, and Southern
Metropolitan was forbidden by the Guangdong Provincial Propaganda
Department to publish any similar articles.
Zhu’s suspension recalls an incident
in March 2008 when another Southern
Metropolitan journalist was stood down after publishing an article that
discussed nationalism, just days after mass unrest in Tibet. He was dismissed following
pressure from the Central Propaganda Department.
“The IFJ urges media managers to
resist efforts by censors to intimidate and deter China’s journalists from pursuing
their professional prerogative,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan
“In bowing to pressure to punish Zhu
merely for doing his job as an editor, media managers as well as the propaganda
authorities are directly contravening China’s constitution, which guarantees
freedom of expression and freedom of the media.”
The IFJ calls on Southern Metropolitan to reinstate Zhu
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
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