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Nachrichtenüberblick China, Erdbeben in Sichuan, Twitter und die Medien

Kleiner Nachrichtenüberblick, für alle die es noch nicht gehört haben: China bemüht sich wohl um Offenheit in Bezug auf das Erdbeben vom 12.5. in Sichuan. Doch so ganz freiwillig und eilfertig ging das nicht, wie die Howard French in der New York Times zu berichten weiß: Earthquake Opens Gap in Controls on Media:

Wir finanzieren uns fast vollständig aus Spenden von Leserinnen und Lesern. Unterstütze unsere Arbeit mit einer Spende oder einem Dauerauftrag.

Two and a half hours after a huge earthquake struck Sichuan Province on Monday, an order went out from the powerful Central Propaganda Department to newspapers throughout China. “No media is allowed to send reporters to the disaster zone,” it read, according to Chinese journalists who are familiar with it.

When the order arrived, many reporters were already waiting at a Shanghai airport for a flight to Sichuan’s provincial capital, Chengdu. A few were immediately recalled by their editors, but two reporters from the Shanghai newspaper The Oriental Morning Post, Yu Song and Wang Juliang, boarded a plane anyway. Soon, they were reporting from the heart of the disaster zone.

Their article filled an entire page of the next day’s Post, one of the first unofficial accounts of the tragedy by Chinese journalists. It included a graphic description of the scene and pictures of a mourning mother, a rescued child and corpses wrapped in white bunting. The paper further risked offending censors by printing an all-black front page that day, stressing the scale of the catastrophe.

Damit war die Nachricht raus. Twitter spielte bereits in den ersten Minuten nach dem Beben eine große Rolle, weiß das Blog ‚China Herald‘:

… updated me fast on the social networks he was using, and it appeared he relied mostly on Facebook, after having dumped twitter. For me, Twitter had developed in a few hours time into an excellent information tool, combining different sources of information and I knew more about the earthquake than many people in China. On the ground, in Chengdu, at least three twitterati were on their way – as one called it – to their 15 minutes f world fame.

casperodj slightly dizzy after being shaken around by the Chengdu earthquake for several hours now.
inwalkedbud @casperodj at home in fact, cooking dinner and getting on with things. Just had another aftershock though.

Others kept an eye on what the traditional media were doing, and sometimes worked as a bridge between the Chengdu-based Twitterati and those media.

Der Artikel enthält weitere Links, auch zu venturebeat.com.

The Standard aus Hong Kong bringt heute eine thematisch ähnliche Meldung von AP: Censors fall victim to Sichuan quake:

Almost nonstop, the uncensored opinions of Chinese citizens are popping up online, sent by text and instant message across a country shaken by its worst earthquake in three decades.

„Why were most of those killed in the earthquake children?“ one post asked on FanFou, a microblogging site.

Another reads: „How many donations will really reach the disaster area? This is doubtful.“

China is now home to the world’s largest number of internet and mobile phone users, and their hunger for quake news is forcing the government to let information flow in ways it has not before. A fast-moving network of text messages, instant messages and blogs has been a powerful source of firsthand accounts of the disaster, as well as pleas for help and even passionate criticism of rescue efforts.

Der Artikel ist ausführlich und betont auch die Rolle der Lokalregierung der Präfektur Aba, die aus Eigeninitiative Informationen online gestellt haben. Erstaunlicherweise war diese Seite online und konnte fast als einzige Quelle online berichten.

Bei aller wünschenswerten Öffnung bleiben schlechte Nachrichten hier nicht unerwähnt. Die Reporter ohne Grenzen berichten: Journalist gets four years for exposing Communist Party corruption in Shandong. Gemeint ist Qi Chonghuai, der behördenkritisch z.B. über Korruption und den pompösen Neubau der Tengzhou Stadtverwaltung berichtet hatte.

Reporters Without Borders condemns the four-year prison sentence that a court in Tengzhou, in the eastern province of Shandong, imposed on journalist Qi Chonghuai on 13 May on charges fraud and extorting money. Qi, who spent 11 months in pretrial detention, used to work for Fazhi Zaobao (Legal Rule Morning Post), a newspaper owned by the justice ministry.

One of his lawyers, Li Xiongbing, who pleaded for his acquittal in court, said that this decision violates press freedom.

“Coming just a few months before the Olympic Games, this sentences is yet another example of the Chinese government’s lack of tolerance for critical writers and journalists.” Reporters Without Borders said. “Qi’s trial was not fair. It lasted only 11 hours, the defence was unable to call any witness and no written proof of the alleged fraud was produced. Local Chinese justice had yet again displayed a complete lack of transparency.”

Aged 42, Qi had worked for 13 years as a journalist for Fazhi Zaobao and other media outlets, and often wrote about corruption in political and financial circles. He was arrested on 25 June after posting an article about Communist Party corruption in Tengzhou on a forum on Xinhuanet, the website of the official news agency. He was formally charged with “fraud and extorting money” on 2 August.

Weitersagen und Unterstützen. Danke!
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