Chinese journalist suspended for outspoken report

Magazine editor Zhao Lingmin works for Nanfeng Chuang, a magazine in Guangdong province.

Beijing: A Chinese journalist has been suspended after publishing an article challenging the Communist Party`s official take on a national hero, a newspaper reported, in the latest example of a reporter pushing the limits of censorship only to have authorities rein them back in.

Magazine editor Zhao Lingmin was suspended on Monday because of a Q&A-style interview she did with a Taiwanese historian that portrayed modern China`s founding father Sun Yat-sen in an unfavourable light, Hong Kong`s South China Morning Post reported on Thursday.

Zhao works for Nanfeng Chuang, a magazine in southern China`s Guangdong province, which is home to several publications known for relatively fearless reporting. The Post said Nanfeng Chuang`s president, Chen Zhong, was demoted because of the piece.

An editor at the magazine who refused to give his name denied the report Friday, saying Zhao was working as usual, but a reporter who refused to give her name confirmed that Zhao was suspended. The reporter referred questions about Chen to the magazine`s publicity official, who was unavailable on Friday.

Nanfeng Chuang has no official English name but is sometimes called "Window on the South" or "South Wind Window."

Chinese media have grown increasingly daring in their coverage of corruption by officials, food safety and other sensitive issues. In one recent example, numerous print and television media outlets refused to downplay a high-speed rail train crash that killed 40 people and instead challenged the government`s handling of the accident.

Among those recently muzzled was Wang Qinglei, a producer for China Central Television`s "24 Hours," who was suspended for his coverage of the rail crash last month.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said in an earlier statement that Wang was suspended after his show questioned the cause of the July 23 crash, featured footage of the victims in hospitals, and asked whether the country was putting progress before the welfare of the people.

Bureau Report

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