China’s tight lid on village shooting

Distribuisco la fotocopia di un articolo tratto da Herald Tribune di venerdì 14 dicembre 2006 e consegno il testo adattato al loro livello


National press is silent, and barriers are raised on the web

   Shangai: one week after the violent police suppression of a demonstration against the construction of a power plant in China that left 20 people dead, a lot of Chinese public still knows nothing of the event.
After the biggest use of armed force against civilians in 1989 around Tiananmen Square, Chinese officials have used techniques from banning newspapers to report on it, to banning place names and other keywords associated with the event from important internet search engines, such as Google, to inform about the deaths. International media succeeded in reporting the news  and revealed the government’s ambitions to control the flow of information to its citizens, and the sophisticated techniques – a combination of old-fashioned authoritarian methods and the latest Internet technologies- used to do so.
The governments first response to the news of an unusually violent confrontation between the police and protesters in the southern village of Dong-zhou was to impose silence, in which Chinese media of all types were apparently banned from reporting the incident. Four days after the Dec. 6 incident, with foreign news reports giving details of the event, the official Xinhua press agency published the first Chinese media account of the confrontation. According to that report more then 300 armed villagers “assaulted the police and the police were forced to open the fire in alarm”. The villagers interviewed said that 20 or more people had been killed by automatic weapons fire and at least 40 were still missing. China press reported this news only some days later and was restricted to newspapers in Guangdong Province, and was not broadcast outside the province.

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