8/08/2009

驻华外国记者认为奥运后中国新闻自由倒退



北京的驻华外国记者协会星期四发表声明,表示中国政府自去年奥运之后所放宽的媒体采访自由有倒退的迹象,中国当局对外国媒体的新闻来源和中国籍助理的骚扰和威吓有增加的趋势。

根据该协会7月份的一项问卷调查,自奥运之后外国媒体受到骚扰的事件,涉及外国记者的有225件,涉及消息来源的有85件,涉及中国籍助理的有45件。

驻华外国记者呼吁新闻自由

美国之音
记者: 钟辰芳
Aug 6, 2009

北京的驻华外国记者协会星期四发表声明,表示中国政府自去年奥运之后所放宽的媒体采访自由有倒退的迹象,许多外国媒体的新闻来源和中国籍助理仍然受到当局的骚扰和恐吓。该组织呼吁中国政府尊重新闻自由,让中国的报导环境能够符合国际标准。

*外国媒体受骚扰增加*

驻华外国记者协会在声明中指出,中国当局对外国媒体的新闻来源和中国籍助理的骚扰和威吓有增加的趋势。

根据该协会7月份的一项问卷调查,自奥运之后外国媒体受到骚扰的事件,涉及外国记者的有225件,涉及消息来源的有85件,涉及中国籍助理的有45件。

驻华外国记者协会主席麦斯高,在接受美国之音访问时,描述这些骚扰和恐吓的情形。

麦斯高:“骚扰恐吓的情形是,有些助理被当局叫去讯问,或叫去和当局会面,说明外国媒体正在报导的内容、他们有兴趣报导的消息,这些属于直接的恐吓,没有人被关押或遭到肢体伤害。有时记者在外地采访,当地政府会跟随他们到采访地点并监督采访过程,这使得受访者感到受威胁。”

*应明确定义“国家秘密”*

麦斯高说,近来一些外国财经记者在报导财经消息时遭到中国当局以“违反国家秘密法”予以威胁,这种动辄得咎的情形对分秒必争的财经记者是极大的压力。中国政府应该明确定义何谓“国家秘密”,让媒体有所依循。

麦斯高:“有关国家秘密的问题,何谓“国家秘密”?尤其是对于金融和经济数据而言,在中国政府正式公布之前的1、2天报导国内生产总值的数字,是否属于国家秘密的范围?外国媒体是否可能因此而被起诉或遭遇麻烦?这是我们关注的事情。

“我们只是想要当局对“国家秘密”给予明确的定义,到底何谓“国家秘密”?很明显的,一些财经媒体如彭博通讯社和路透社,对于以最快速度报导这些数字有强烈的竞争,但他们是否可能因为在官方正式发布这个数字前加以报导而遭到麻烦?”

麦斯高表示,中国政府自去年10月后因奥运而放宽的规定,允许外国记者在除了西藏之外毋须事先申请即可在中国各地进行采访,的确开放了他们在中国的报导环境。不过有些地方仍然有进一步改善的空间。

麦斯高:“有些方面有改善,例如毋须在事前提出申请就可以到外地进行采访,中国政府也举行较多的新闻发布会,这些都比以前要好得多。

“不过对于在这里工作的外国记者而言,他们遭遇的问题还是很多,有些地方的政府拒绝协助记者或要他们离开;政府发言人制度还不够进步;对于新闻采访的助理加以恐吓,不允许他们以记者身份从事采访工作或在记者会上发问等等,这些方面仍然值得关注。”

驻华外国记者协会的260多名会员来自33个国家。麦斯高说,由于这个组织不被中国政府承认,因此他们无法以团体的名义向官方提出要求或进行交涉,而是经由个别会员媒体或使用在外交部新闻发布会上提问的方式指出媒体受骚扰的现象。

*中国新闻自由倒退*

总部设在纽约的“保护记者委员会”在今年2月公布的全球新闻自由年度报告中说,中国的新闻自由状况没有任何好转。它说,中国政府在过去一年不但没有实施它要允许新闻自由的承诺,反而加紧了对媒体的监控和管制。

“记者无国界”组织也说,中国在奥运会期间少有的成果之一,就是给予外国媒体自由行动和采访权,但是对一些敏感问题如西藏、异议人士或艾滋病疫情的报导,仍然使记者处处遭受阻碍,甚至暴力对待。

中国外交部发言人姜瑜在去年奥运前曾经表示,中国政府会继续依法保护外国记者在中国的各项合法权益,希望外国记者能够遵守中国的法律法规,在采访中体现他们一贯标榜的客观、公正、平衡,与中国民众建立互信的关系。

http://www.voanews.com/chinese/2009-08-06-voa42.cfm


外国媒体:中国采访环境仍有许多障碍

美国之音
记者:张蓉湘
Aug 3, 2009

一些驻华外国记者协会成员日前在国会表示,外国媒体在中国的采访待遇虽然有所改善,但还是面临许多限制,包括消息来源被恐吓、以及在报道数据时被调查是否违反中国的国家保密法等。

美国“国会及行政部门中国问题委员会”7月31号举办听证会,讨论中国目前的新闻采访环境,被派驻在中国的西方媒体在听证会中说明他们的第一手经验。

*受访者事后被拘捕问话*

乔斯林•福特(Jocelyn Ford)曾经担任“驻华外国记者协会”新闻自由委员会的主席。她说,一些接受西方媒体采访的民众在采访之后被中国官方拘捕、问话,福特建议美国政府官员与国会议员在访问中国的时候,应该告诉中方允许民众传达不同看法的重要性,因为对话是解决问题、而非制造问题的方法。

福特告诉美国之音:“在北京奥运会之后,外国媒体在中国的采访环境有所改善,但还是有许多障碍。越来越多的新闻消息来源被骚扰、吓阻。 除非消息来源能够不受限制跟我们说话,否则我们无法进行自由报道。”

*消息来源被恐吓*

凯瑟琳•麦克劳克林(Kathleen E. McLaughlin)目前担任“驻华外国记者协会”的干事与新闻自由委员会主席。她说,美国官员与议员在访问中国的时候不该自我设限、不公开谈论人权。麦克劳克林说,根据驻华外国记者协会的问卷调查,虽然半数受访者认为中国的新闻报道环境有所改善,但这些人当中,有三分之二说过去一年曾经在新闻采访时遭到中国官方干涉。

她说:“从今年开始,在北京替外国新闻机构工作、注册过的本地中国工作人员被官方叫去训练与训话,并且可能被中国官员威胁不给采访证或者失去工作。新的采访规定敦促这些外国新闻机构的本地助手提倡有关中国的正面报道。此外,他们也被告知:进行独立的新闻报道活动是违法的。”

*中国媒体商业化*

目前任教于华盛顿州惠特曼学院(Whitman College)的阿什利•埃萨瑞说,中国有几亿网民与手机使用者,越来越多人通过这种方式组织集会与发表对特定事件的支持,让中国共产党对新媒体的担忧加深。

另一方面,埃萨瑞说,商业化也带来中国媒体的变革。

他说:“媒体的私人企业化带来新的报道动机。一些媒体现在关心大众的需要,希望消费者满意,这代表一些媒体从以前单纯地满足党的需求,到现在有兴趣进行调查性报道新闻。”

美国国会及行政部门中国问题委员会在去年的年度报告中建议美国政府与国会,在跟中国官员进行正式文件往来的时候,呼吁中方释放由于和平表达言论而被逮捕的政治犯,例如黑龙江人权活动人士杨春林、维权人士郭飞雄与吕耿松。

http://www.voanews.com/chinese/2009-08-03-voa58.cfm


驻华外国记协:外媒记者遭死亡威胁

美国之音
记者: 东方
Jul 20, 2009

*新疆报道比西藏有进步*

在另一项进展方面,驻华外国记者协会在一封写给中国外交部新闻司司长马朝旭的公开信中说,驻华外国记者协会对乌鲁木齐相对向外国记者开放表示欢迎。公开信说,当地警方和外事部门的官员对前往乌鲁木齐采访暴乱以及进行后续报道的外国记者总的说来是有帮助的,他们通过提供互联网专线和电话线路等向记者提供援助,他们还组织记者会,并且保持了报道气氛的相对公开。驻华外国记者协会认为,这些是对去年外国记者在西藏采访时遇到的问题而采取的重要步骤。

不过,驻华外国记者协会也对新疆报道存在的问题提出严重关切。这些问题包括在喀什采访的几位外国记者被驱逐,并且被禁止进行采访工作。在韶关,外国记者的采访也受到层层障碍。

*外国记者遭死亡威胁*

另外,驻华外国记者协会表示,一些中国官方主流媒体发表煽动性的言论导致对外国驻华新闻机构的敌视,至少有两位外国记者接到死亡威胁。很多外国驻华新闻机构接到骚扰电话,电子邮件收到针对外国驻华新闻机构的电脑病毒。

驻华外国记者协会还对有关部门警告外国记者不要提问敏感问题表示关切。该协会说,一名记者在乌鲁木齐因为提敏感问题而被拘禁。外国记者协会认为,这类行动违反了国际报道的普遍原则。

驻华外国记者协会在给马朝旭的公开信中说,这次开放外国记者在乌鲁木齐的采访报道代表着真正的进步,而最近的这种朝向更加开放的报道气氛的进步不应该被有关煽动对外国记者的敌视而受到阻碍。

http://www.voanews.com/chinese/2009-07-20-voa42.cfm


驻华外国记者协会的调查显示,从2008年奥运会开始到2009年7月外国记者在中国采访所遇到的麻烦:

和驻华记者有关的事件:
16起暴力 事件
16起照片和相关新闻素材被毁 事件
100起在公共场所被驱逐 事件
75起被政府人员跟踪 事件
18起被政府官员指责 事件

与报道对象有关的事件:
6起暴力 事件
45起被恐吓威胁 事件
11起被处罚 事件
23起被政府盘问 事件

与记者助理有关的事件:
1起暴力 事件
21起被恐吓威胁 事件
23起被政府盘问驻华记者 事件

在乌鲁木齐的报道问题:

Matthias Kamp – 德国商业周刊
相对而言,我在乌鲁木齐能够自由活动,也能在没有预约的情况下在医院里采访。但当我在一个维族家庭的住处采访时,便衣警察跟踪我到人家家里。新闻中心的员工非常帮忙。

Bill Schiller – 多伦多星报
我在第2人民医院采访时有一位干部陪同着,他很友好,但当一伤员要求与我交谈的情况下不让我采访该病人。我们不得不放弃采访另一维族伤员的计划,因为4位警察把整个医院楼层都封锁了。我在街上随便逛并随即与人交谈。第2天我收到了一份警告,劝阻我不要自由采访。

(自曲新闻)

http://freemorenews.com/2009/08/07/foreign-correspondents-club-in-china-published-by-the-press-in-china-the-investigation-report-of-trouble/

~~~

Statements Posted August 6, 2009

Olympic Progress Marred By Intimidation

A year after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (FCCC) says the relaxed reporting rules made permanent after the Games have made travel easier for foreign correspondents. However, intimidation of sources and domestic staff mar this progress toward internationally acceptable reporting conditions.

While foreign correspondents are still denied access to the Tibet Autonomous Region, the FCCC took note of the relatively open reporting environment, with some exceptions, in Urumqi in the wake of the July 5 riots. The Olympic regulations, which were made permanent in October 2008, allow foreign reporters to travel out of Beijing without first seeking permission from local authorities.

FCCC members report increased intimidation of sources and domestic staff, a trend that threatens progress toward greater openness.

“Authorities are using intimidation to silence sources and prevent assistants from doing their jobs. This should be stopped immediately,” said FCCC President Scott McDonald. “We urge China to move closer to the best international practices by introducing legislation that protects sources.”

The FCCC is concerned about authorities’ recent threats to charge Chinese national staff and foreign financial reporters with violating state secrecy laws if they run afoul of certain guidelines on reporting of economic and financial data that are not spelled out clearly.

The FCCC condemns such threats, and urges China to bring its state secrecy laws in line with international practice.

“As China’s economic and financial influence increases, it is crucial for the global economy that China increase transparency and the free and fair flow of financial data,” said McDonald.

—-
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China is an independent association of professional journalists with over 260 correspondent members from 33 countries. The vast majority are Beijing-based correspondents for the world’s leading media organizations.


Appendix i

The FCCC received 57 responses to a July 2009 questionnaire on reporting conditions in the year following the 2008 Olympics.

The results include:

INCIDENTS INVOLVING CORRESPONDENTS
16 incidents of violence
16 incidents of destruction of photos or other reporting materials
100 incidents of being turned away from public spaces
75 incidents of being followed by authorities
18 incidents of being reprimanded by government authorities

INCIDENTS INVOLVING SOURCES:
6 incidents of violence
45 incidents of intimidation
11 incidents of punishment
23 incidents of summoning by authorities for questioning

INCIDENTS INVOLVING ASSISTANTS:
1 incident of violence
21 incidents of intimidation
23 incidents of being summoned by authorities for questioning about foreign correspondent

Appendix ii
COMMENTS BY CORRESPONDENTS
On Harassment of Sources and Assistants:

“About two weeks after I interviewed a man who was trying to expose shoddy construction of schools that collapsed in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, his wife and daughter had what he believes was a staged car accident. He had previously received death threats from local authorities, and thought the accident was a warning not to talk to media any more.” Marcel Grzanna, Aachener Zeitung

“State security should lay off national editorial assistants. Mine has been ‘taken to lunch’ three times in last four months, the last time for four hours, reducing her to tears. She was told not to tell me that they were even meeting because doing so would violate ’state secrecy laws’. The Chinese government wants international credit for appearing ‘modern’ and ‘open’ to foreign reporters, but at the very same time it is busy beneath the surface, threatening its own nationals who work for international news organizations. This is my fourth international posting. I have never confronted hypocrisy on this scale from a host government. ” Western print reporter

On Reporting in Urumqi:

“I was able to move relatively freely around Urumqi, and able to conduct interviews in a hospital without an appointment, but when I interviewed a Uighur family in their own home I was followed inside by plainclothes officers. The staff at the media center were helpful.” Matthias Kamp, WirtschaftsWoche – The German Business Weekly

“I was accompanied by a cadre at People’s Hospital No. 2. The official was pleasant, but wouldn’t allow me to interview a patient who asked to speak to me. We had to abandon a plan to interview another Uighur patient because four police had sealed off the hospital wing. I roamed the streets and spoke to people randomly. The next day a photocopied warning was slipped under the door saying that ‘independent interviews’ were discouraged.” Bill Schiller, The Toronto Star

On Suggested Improvements:

“Last year in Sichuan, foreign journalist passes included vague restrictions on making “unreasonable” requests of interviewees. This year in Xinjiang, foreign reporters were warned against asking questions that “incite racial hatred”. At a weekly briefing, a Foreign Ministry spokesman has stated that in addition to the interviewee’s consent, foreign reporters must also take into account the convenience of local officials. Such an interpretation leaves foreign journalists’ rights right back where they started: subject to the whims of officials. These demands appear out of line with regulations on foreign journalists and should be dropped.” Anthony Kuhn, National Public Radio

http://www.fccchina.org/2009/08/06/olympic-progress-marred-by-intimidation/


Statements Posted July 20, 2009

Open Letter On Reporting Conditions In Xinjiang

Ma Zhaoxu,
Director General,
Information Department,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Dear Sir:

In light of past problems covering large incidents like the unrest in Tibet last year, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China would like to share some of the feedback we received from our members, given the large number of journalists who traveled to Xinjiang to cover the unrest.

Our club welcomes the relatively open access for correspondents in Urumqi and we hope this is a sign of things to come for press working conditions in China. Many correspondents who traveled to Urumqi to cover the riots and their aftermath reported to us that police and foreign affairs officials were generally helpful. They responded promptly, assisting journalists by providing special Internet and telephone lines, arranging press conferences and by keeping the reporting environment reasonably open. These are important steps toward what the FCCC asked for last year after the problems reporting in Tibet.

Still, several serious concerns remain that we hope the Chinese government will address.

In Kashgar, several correspondents were ejected from the city and prevented from doing their jobs. In Shaoguan, reporters met with obstacles while trying to report on the toy factory murders related to the Urumqi protests. The relative openness of Urumqi should be applied to all areas, in keeping with the government’s open reporting regulations.

In addition, we are extremely concerned about the hostility directed at foreign correspondents as a result of inflammatory comments in mainstream Chinese media regarding coverage of Xinjiang. At least two of our members have received deaths threats, many others have had disturbing telephone calls or been targeted by email viruses. We are also concerned about warnings to journalists in Xinjiang to avoid breaking the rules by asking sensitive questions. One correspondent in Urumqi was detained on that charge, which goes against standard international reporting conditions.

The media arrangements in Urumqi represented a genuine step forward. The recent progress toward an open reporting climate should not be undermined by statements that stir up hostility toward foreign journalists.

For more details, please see the incidents below. I am more than happy to meet and discuss these matters in person. This is not an exhaustive list, but gives some examples of the obstacles our members faced:

■July 7, Urumqi: A newspaper journalist who reported a positive reporting experience overall was shoved into a van by police and ordered back to the media center at a local hotel.
■July 10, Kashgar: An Associated Press photographer had photos deleted by authorities and was ordered to leave the city.
■July 10, Kashgar: A German television crew was stopped by police and ordered to return to Urumqi.
■July 10-11, Shaoguan, Guangdong: Officials blocked all interview attempts with Uighur workers at the toy factory connected with the violence. One writer-photographer team was followed by car and on foot, and their driver ordered to surrender his car keys to police.
■July 12, Kashgar: City officials told an AFP reporter and photographer the city government had ordered a stop to all foreign and domestic reporting activities in the interest of safety. The photographer was asked to delete photographs, and complied. Both were escorted back to their hotel, where they were prevented from leaving by about six uniformed police and another six plainclothes camped out in the lobby. The two were allowed to briefly eat at a nearby restaurant where they were watched while they ate. “We couldn’t talk to anyone without them watching, since it would get people in hot water. Just by them watching, it’s a very effective curb on reporting,” the reporter said.
Yours sincerely,

Scott McDonald
President,
Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China

http://www.fccchina.org/2009/07/20/open-letter-on-reporting-conditions-in-xinjiang/


Statements Posted July 11, 2009

China Should Allow Reporters Free Movement In Xinjiang

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China, while encouraged that journalists were allowed to report from Urumqi, is alarmed at the growing number of reporters who have been detained while trying to do their jobs.

Foreign reporters have been asked to leave the city of Kashgar, and in some cases have been escorted to the airport. Photographs have also been deleted from cameras. At least four reporters were detained for hours in Urumqi, a worrying trend.

Reporters in those cities and other parts of Xinjiang should be allowed to do their work according to international norms.

“We strongly encourage local officials in Xinjiang to allow the media to report and move about the area without hindrance,” said FCCC president Scott McDonald.

http://www.fccchina.org/2009/07/11/china-should-allow-reporters-free-movement-in-xinjiang/

Statements Posted July 7, 2009

China Must Stop Harassing Reporters In Xinjiang

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China deplores the detention and harassment of journalists attempting to cover the unrest in Xinjiang. We urge the Chinese authorities to permit the free flow of information that is essential to objective and fair reporting.

Contrary to the spirit of state reporting regulations, security forces in Xinjiang have detained TV crews and other reporters, confiscated equipment and in at least one case damaged a video camera.

Over the past two days, the FCCC has also received reports of authorities forcibly preventing journalists from doing interviews, and detaining them for several hours. Restrictions on the Internet and international phone calls have also made it difficult for journalists to properly carry out their work.

“Detaining and harassing journalists for news reporting is wrong. We call on the authorities to allow journalists to do their jobs without restraints,” said club president Scott McDonald.

http://www.fccchina.org/2009/07/07/china-must-stop-harassing-reporters-in-xinjiang/