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Freedom of the press and China

While Rob Gaudet objects to the praise of Canada and Norway in the listing published by Reporters Without Borders, Rusty Bentley is critical of the criticism of China: "I am not familiar with the referenced "press freedom" report, so I do not know the definitions used. However, having lived and taught in China in 2000 and 2001, I was amazed that the China Daily, the nation-wide English language newspaper, and CCTV Channel 9, the English language news channel, were both very accurate and non-agenda driven in their general coverage. Obviously, any time the government's interests were involved, the reporting played the party line but never falling prey to the "imperialist running dog lackey" school of jingoistic journalism. As far as being sources of straightforward international news, I found then to equal the International Herald Tribune and CNN. On that basis I would certainly put China ahead of many, many countries and never place it with North Korea".

RH: What Rusty says may well be true of the English-language press, but you will remember the postings about the South China News published in Hong Kong. In many countries, like Mexico, it has been traditional to allow freedom to all but the mass media. Paul Simon is eminently well qualified to tell us about the Chinese-language media.

Ronald Hilton - 10/27/02