onsdag 30. januar 2019

Under Watch: Reporting In China's Surveillance State

Rapidly expanding surveillance and widespread government interference against reporting in the country’s far northwestern region of Xinjiang drove a significant deterioration in the work environment for foreign journalists in China in 2018. In December and January, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China surveyed its correspondent members about their work experiences during calendar year 2018. The results of that survey, as well as interviews with bureau chiefs from nine major media organizations and a timeline of notable incidents, form the basis of a new report, “Under Watch: Reporting in China’s Surveillance State.”

Survey results painted the darkest picture of reporting conditions inside China in recent memory. For the first time in three years, a foreign correspondent was effectively expelled through visa denial. Separately, Chinese authorities also issued severely shortened visas and reporting credentials, one for just 2.5 months, to at least five correspondents. Pressure on Chinese national news assistants and sources intensified, and close to half of respondents reported themselves being followed or having their hotel room entered without permission while in the field.

Fifty five percent of respondents said they believed conditions deteriorated in 2018 — the largest proportion since 2011, when foreign media coverage of pro-democracy protests prompted an extensive government backlash. Not a single correspondent said conditions improved last year.