Media discontent over Beijing censorship

From Roy Greenslade, Guardian Unlimited
A lengthy article in Time magazine, Will the Olympic torch burn China? today began by pointing to the nonsense of the London relay in which a phalanx of police was required to prevent demonstrators seizing the torch. Instead of harmony, the event displayed discord.

Now there are hints of a broadcasting boycott of the Beijing Olympics if the Chinese authorities do not relax their current media censorship.

After Hubert Lacroix, director general of CBC Radio Canada, wrote last week to the Chinese ambassador to Canada to demand that his company’s websites should be unblocked, CBC TV’s executive vice-president Richard Stursberg mused in public about “the potential implications of even a small boycott”.

A leading French sports commentator, Bernard Faure of France Télévisions, has already announced that he will not attend because of China’s human rights abuses. And his station has warned that it might not broadcast the opening ceremony if the Chinese authorities impose any kind of censorship.

German chancellor Angela Merkel, Czech president Vaclav Klaus and Polish prime minister Donald Tusk have made public their intention not to attend the opening ceremony.

Read Greenslade’s full, link-rich blog, by clicking here

Click here for The Independent‘s Johan Hari’s take on the China problem

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