A well respected investigative journalism unit at a prominent Beijing newspaper has been shut down. The China Media project reports
At 10:49am yesterday, [CMP Director] Qian Gang wrote on his Sina Microblog account: "I'm shocked to learn that the investigative team at China Economic Times led by Wang Keqin has been "dismantled' this morning.
Apparently, this was a decision by upper level management at the newspaper-- it's Communist party committe-- according to the Wall Street Journal.
The author of the China Media Project article suggests that this was a bad call by an internet ignorant manager, that it might even end up doing some good and that the investigative team, headed by Wang Keqin " enjoys tolerance from high-level [government leaders]"
But this gives us pause to wonder.
As newspapers consolidate and the pool investigative journalists shrinks smaller and smaller, will the right wingers who control most of the biggest media, which they've built through mergers and acquisitions, either shut down investigative journalism units altogether or shift th eir focus to targets that are irritants to the banksters, big Pharma, multinational corporations and the too big to fail companies that bankroll the media?
Perhaps that question is too modest. Perhaps we should ask how much of that has already happened? How much phone hacking and tapping has been done by operations run by News Corp, or by other ideologically similar groups?
How many investigative projects targeting big corporations have been shut down or would down, or subjected to no-new-hire or no pay raise policies?
Let's face it. China is a copycat country. They copy from the USA. It is not unreasonable to speculate that what was publicly done to the China Economic Times
could very well have been done secretly by privately operated or even publicly held media operations.
The more I think about it, the less what's happened in China is a harbinger and the more it is a parrot, mimicking what's just about certainly happened here in the USA.
This is one more reason that the US, which depends on an aggressive free press, more specifically investigative journalism, must, MUST develop alternative funding for investigative journalism.
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