Monday, August 1, 2011

China - Microblogging and Internal Control

Xinjiang has long been challenged by Muslim Uigher separatist. Sporadic attacks happen with some frequency. The NYT has a good piece on a recent attack in the context of attacks within the last few years with links to related stories - good for researchers to get an all in one look at the issue in recent years. An interesting feature in this story, as with the recent MILINT post on assessing China in light of the peoples reaction to the high speed rail crash, is the degree to which micro-blogs as they are call there, are replacing traditional news media and are becoming harder and harder to control.

This morning the rail piece was updated thus: China imposed Media Blackout to Calm Anger- a hint of things to come?

Outraged by the order to silence themselves,  dozens of journalists insisted in online messages that given the many troubling questions that remain,  it was almost impossible to swallow the directives. The government has placed huge  importance on the construction of high-speed rail, mounting the world’s largest public works project. 
“Tonight, hundreds of papers are replacing their pages; thousands of reporters are having their stories retracted; tens of thousands of ghosts cannot rest in peace; hundreds of millions of truths are being covered up,” the editor of Southern Metropolis Daily, a newspaper based in Guangzhou, wrote Friday. “This country is being humiliated by numerous evil hands.” His post, on the site Sina Weibo, was later deleted.
“My story will not go to print today and looks like I will have to write something else,” wrote another journalist. “I’d rather leave the page blank with one word — ‘speechless.’ ”

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