China: Missing Information?

In an article for The New York Times, Beijing writer Hung Huang explains that their media censorship has in some respects loosened up. Specifically, she claims that her magazine has not been censored for the past four years, even though they have published some fairly sexual photoshoots. Because of this, she argues that Chinese citizens do not feel censorship like most Westerners assume they do (Huang par. 1).

Censorship Does Happen

She recognizes, however, that the state does censor political information. For example, when Chinese infants were sickened by contaminated baby formula, no state-operated media reported on the debate (par. 4).

Another example of Chinese media censorship happened when the wife of the director of the Chinese Olympics channel disrupted a news conference to inform the world of her husband’s extramarital affair. This incident happened on live television, but no other stations dared report on it, and the only video of it that was posted on the Internet was later removed by censors (par. 6).

Christopher Lee as evil mastermind Fu Manchu in 1965. Courtesy of CBS News.

Huang put it best when she wrote, “Yes, Fu Manchu as Big Brother is among us.”

par. 4

From Huang’s article, it can be inferred that most of the Chinese media’s censorship goes unrecognized. So, it is probably safe to assume that most common Chinese citizens do not even realize that they are being deprived of knowledge. Their television stations are under rigid control (par. 6). As discussed earlier, their journalists are frequently imprisoned, and their Internet is regularly monitored and blocked.

They do not understand that they are uninformed because they do not know anything else. They only know media filtered through their Communist government. Even if they want to further research an issue, they can only pull from sources that their government has deemed unthreatening to the Communist agenda.

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