Attack on scribes rise as media opens up in China
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Last Updated: Monday, August 02, 2010, 17:44
Beijing: As Chinese media showed signs of opening up on coverage of critical public issues, a number of journalists are increasingly being attacked allegedly by state and private agencies prompting the government to promise protection for scribes.

Two leading dailies, 'The China Daily' and 'Global Times', both today featured attacks on journalists as lead stories expressing deep concerns over the scale of assaults.

"Series of separate reports of aggression directed at Chinese journalists - all in the span of less than a week - has prompted a public outcry and call by the government to ensure the safety of reporters on the job," 'Global Times' said in its report.

The editor and journalists of 'National Business Daily' were attacked on Friday by four men claiming to work for BaWang International, a shampoo maker whose products the newspaper said contained toxic chemicals.

Police detained the men after a tussle broke out between the newspaper's reporters and them.

"We condemn and distain any act that endangers reporters' safety and disrupts the normal work of our paper," a spokesperson for the paper said, adding the daily plans to set up a reporters' committee to protect rights of journalists.

On Thursday, an arrest warrent was issued against a reporter with Shanghai bureau of 'Economic Observer', who did a whistle-blowing investigative report of insider trading by a Shenzhen-listed battery manufacturer in Zhejiang Province.

The police later came to the newspaper's office to apologise to the newspaper and Qiu.

Another incident involved a reporter of 'China Times', who was attacked on Thursday by a man claiming to be an insider from the Shenzhen International Enterprise Co.

The scribe wrote a story last month saying Shenzhen International Enterprise was suspected of transferring assets. The company denied any involvement in the attack.

Media organisations have the right to know, interview, publish, criticise and supervise issues related to national and public interests," the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) said in a statement adding it will conduct special inspections across the country to check implementation of regulations issued for protection of media personnel.

Chinese state-run media has shown signs of opening up since early this year after government reportedly liberalised rules to carry critical reports on public issue.

The move was attributed to growing blog post network which caught on with spread of internet and mobile services. China has over 420 million internet users and over 800 million mobile phone users.


First Published: Monday, August 02, 2010, 17:44

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