Morning Clicks

A newspaper editor laments censorship

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 October, 2012, 7:53am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 October, 2012, 9:37am

The October 9 issue of Kunming's City Times newspaper was sent to printers with a story introducing Fujian province Department of Transport director Li Dejin's expensive taste in accessories, specifically a Rado watch worth 50,000 yuan (HK$61,630) and an Hermes belt worth 15,000 yuan (HK$18,489).

Li got wind of the story and pulled the right strings to get the story killed from three provinces away. 

According to Beijing-based journalist Wang Keqin, who broke the story Tuesday afternoon, hundreds of thousands of copies of the newspaper which had already been printed by the time the kill order was received were seized and destroyed, and online versions of the story were scrubbed from the internet.

A separate pseudonymous account of the censorship story suggests that City Times publisher and editor-in-chief Zhou Zhichen first dropped a hint of the next day's news late Monday evening. Tuesday morning, Zhou wrote on his microblog account:

As someone who started his media career in Fujian, I've never been so furious or humiliated. I abhor and despise that evil hand which reaches thousands of kilometres. Watching those hundreds of thousands of copies of the newspaper go in despair, I could only comfort myself with the thought that it's the survivors who are able to become the builders. But even more so, I believe that someone arrogant enough to own a whip and an insane time machine like that is asking for it, of this I'm certain.

Since then, journalists and their employers from across the country have made Li infamous using their microblog accounts, so much that the Communist Party's People's Daily and Global Times newspapers were even allowed to report the story, although the former's Chinese-language article has since been deleted.

Meanwhile, it was also reported today that Yang Dacai, the Shaanxi province official who was placed under investigation for corruption after netizens discovered he owned as many as ten luxury watches, also has more than twenty bank accounts.


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