Foreign journalists in China facing ‘unprecedented’ pressure – Report


Foreign correspondents in China are facing “unprecedented hurdles” in their reporting from the country, an annual survey published on Monday by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (FCCC) has found.

Out of those who took part, 99 per cent said they felt working conditions did not meet international standards.

“The FCCC is troubled by the breakneck speed by which media freedom is declining in China,’’ a statement from the FCCC said.

In the run-up to the Beijing Winter Olympics, which begin on Friday, 60 per cent of the 127 respondents criticised the insufficient information provided by the organizers about events.

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Almost a third of respondents complained of being excluded from events that would have been open to other media.

Although almost half of the respondents said that their offices were understaffed as they were unable to bring journalists into the country.

Visa denials, surveillance, intimidation and harassment were reported in daily work. “As a result, reporting from China is suffering,’’ the FCCC statement said.

China correspondents unable to report directly from the country had taken up residence in Taipei, Singapore, Sydney, Seoul or even London, it said.

Meanwhile, those able to work in the country routinely suffer significant restrictions on their work, the report says, with 62 per cent saying they had been prevented from reporting at least once by police or other officials.

Out of those who had visited Xinjiang, the region of north-west China where persecution of the Muslim Uighurs has been the subject of international condemnation, 88 per cent were  reported being harassed.(dpa/NAN)

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