Honk Kong march bloggers leverage Net's democratizing force

Honk Kong march bloggers leverage Net's democratizing force

Summary: Has the American media-megaplex forgotten how the owners of Revolutionary War-era newspapers were severely punished for speaking out against the colonial government?


A bit off topic, but over the weekend, I was looking for some independent coverage of the marches taking place in Hong Kong.  Sadly, a brief scan of the major news sites revealed no coverage and gave preference to news items like how the face transplant lady is doing well (ABCNews), the Bush motorcade getting into a wreck (FOXNews), how advertisements in video games are serious business (CBSNews), how some legendary entertainers were honored at the Kennedy Center (CNN), and how China has ordered 150 airplanes from Airbus (NYTimes). What a sad commentary it is about the US media when it ignores such a populous People's struggle against its ruling government for freedom and democracy. 

Has the American media-megaplex forgotten how the owners of Revolutionary War-era newspapers were severely punished for speaking out against the colonial government?  I sent a note to Rebecca McKinnon, a fellow at the Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society to see if she knew of any bloggers that were reporting from the march.  In her coverage of some pretty horrific accounts of free press oppression as well as the overall rise and crackdown on Internet-based media in China,  McKinnon is one of the more prolific bloggers when it comes to the the press, blogging, censorship and China.  Earlier this year, the Chinese government issued a policy that, according to the state controlled Xinhua news agency, banned "the spreading of any news with content that is against national security and public interest."  According to the UK-based Guardian, "With the help of western technology firms and internet companies, China filters foreign sites, restricts blog postings, limits online chats and censors instant messages for the second-largest online population in the world."  Earlier this year, Yahoo became entangled in the Chinese government's effort to track down and imprison a journalist that it claims had leaked state secrets.

In her e-mail reply, McKinnon, pointed me to Charles Feng's blog. In the course of blogging his observations of the march, Feng disputed the 250K headcount estimated by some, but listed and linked to some of more important issues that the march covered (in addition to "universal suffrage").  I don't know where the Chinese authorities draw the line on journalism that's "against national security and public interest," but Feng's blog included photos and appears to be carefully worded in such a way that it pushes the government's limits.  By listing and linking to the key issues, he's not asserting his own opinions.  But he's clearly providing the details one might need to form their own.

Topic: China

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  • Tyranny

    The tyranny of the Chinese government will continue to be ignored by the mainstream media.

    Many of the media companies are susidiaries of corporations which make billions from cheap Chinese labor. Those that aren't likely depend on AD revenue from those same corps.

    The corruption of money supports Chinese tyranny. Not only are we victims of "free trade" through lost jobs but that same "free trade" ensures the continued oppression of the Chinese People.

    The only news we are likely to get from mainstream media is news which in no way threatens big-money interests.
    Tim Patterson
    • Very well said

  • Hate to say it but, no one in US cares at all.

    Maybe people have enough problems of their own they don't need more heaped on them from China???
    • Give me a break!!!

      Gessss.... As a Katrina Surviour I do care.

      We are, what amounts to, an econmic WAR with them.
      If they truly had freedom, we would not have the trade deficit we have now with them.

      Not to mention, they do not allow "blogging" or other disemination (SIC?) of information, but according to my LOGS of various servers I support, they SURE seem to allow their "citizens" probing and proding and trying to hack/crack into these servers.
      • So I tell you what, go to China and solve it.

        See, you no longer have to worry about Katrina and you get to help the spread of information. What more could you ever want?

        No, my point is that the US press doesn't cover it because the US viewer really doesn't care. Now if you want I'll make it easy on you, 99.99% of US people don't care. There, is that better?
  • Honk Kong?

    Where is that?
    • The Honker

      Well, since Hong Kong means "sweet smelling port", it must be allergy season for the honkers!
      Roger Ramjet