Beijing (AFP) – The website of the South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong newspaper being bought by Internet giant Alibaba, has become inaccessible in China during a series of high-level government meetings in Beijing.
Attempts by AFP in China on Friday to open the newspaper’s English and Chinese-language websites returned only error messages saying that the pages could not be displayed.
The scmp.com website was blocked starting on March 3, according to the security website GreatFire.org, which monitors online censorship in China.
China’s Communist Party oversees a vast censorship system — dubbed the Great Firewall — that aggressively blocks sites or snuffs out Internet and TV content and commentary on topics considered sensitive, such as Beijing’s human rights record and criticisms of the government.
Popular social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter are inaccessible in the country, as is Youtube.
Several Western news organisations have accused China of blocking access to their websites in the past, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and Reuters. Read the rest of this entry »
China has ordered all journalists at state-run media to attend Marxism classes, the latest in a series of recent government moves to assert control over the press.
The Communist Party’s Propaganda Department is requiring the country’s entire official press corps—more than 300,000 reporters and editors—to attend at least two days of Marxist classes this month. State officials have enforced similar “press re-education” programs over the past decade. But this week’s move signals a renewed sense of urgency by authorities, who are trying hard to control the media in an era of microblogging platforms like Sina Weibo and Tencent Holdings’ WeChat, said David Bandurski, editor of the China Media Project, a University of Hong Kong project tracking Chinese media reform.
Mr. Bandurski said the core focus of the classes will likely be on the Marxist view of journalism, which instructs reporters to listen to and support the party and help guide public opinion. Accordingly, the focus for journalists will be on reminding them to help foster stability and support for the government, and to listen to senior leaders in selecting what to publish, he said.