South Asia and Beyond

China Using Coercion To Control Olympics Reportage

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the world’s largest federation of journalists’ unions, has said that China is suing a range of coercive means to control coverage of Chinese affairs by foreign journalists in China. A report put out by the federation says restrictions imposed by the regime on foreign journalists covering the Olympic Games underscore a sharp decline in media freedom in China over more than a decade. As Beijing hosts the Winter Olympics, journalists are confined to a “closed-loop management system” that prohibits any contact with “the real China” from the moment they arrive in the country until they leave, the report said. It also cited restrictions faced by resident foreign journalists in China. Some of those include outright expulsions, threats that compel journalists to leave, denials and delays in granting visas, lawsuits alleging breach of reporting protocols, surveillance such as tailing, intrusive monitoring, invasive official visits by security forces, digital surveillance, reports on state-run media and trolling on social media which can incite physical harassment of foreign reporters, etc.

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