Chinese Paper Makes Unprecedented Plea For Reporter's Release | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Chinese Paper Makes Unprecedented Plea For Reporter's Release

"Please Release Him."

That was the simple but startling front-page headline on Wednesday in New Express, a cutting-edge newspaper based in China's southern city of Guangzhou. "Him" is Chen Yongzhou, one of the paper's investigative journalists who New Express says was taken away by police after reporting "problems with the accounts" at Zoomlion Heavy Industries."

Bloomberg reports that Chen's May 27 story on construction-equipment maker Zoomlion "accused the company of improperly accounting for sales, forcing Zoomlion to halt trading of its shares in Hong Kong and Shenzhen. The company has denied it falsified sales."

Zoomlion filed a complaint against Chen with local police last week, and he was detained on Oct. 18 for "damage to business reputation," media reports said.

The arrest of Chen comes as China has sought to crackdown on what it has described as online rumors and false news.

Radio Free Asia calls the move by New Express "unprecedented" and notes:

"While all Chinese newspapers are tightly controlled by the propaganda department of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, some continue to push the limits set down for them, in particular through investigative reporting of alleged corruption."

New Express editors said: "We had always believed that it was enough to carry out responsible reporting and that then no problems would arise, or that if they did we could apologize or correct them or compensate [the relevant parties] through the courts, and that even if we were shut down, that we would have deserved it."

"Now, events have clearly shown us that we were too naive," the article said.

"Even though Zoomlion is very strong and has paid a lot of taxes in Changsha, we are still class brethren, and there are contradictions here," the newspaper's commentary pleaded. "We beg the police, our brothers, please let Chen Yongzhou go."

The Hollywood Reporter says the front-page piece was "widely carried on Weibo, the Chinese version of the banned Twitter service, and also ran in Chinese mainstream media, without any obvious censorship."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Oct. 23

You can see a play and hear music made famous by film.

NPR

Glow-In-The-Dark Treats To Light Up Your Halloween

Two entrepreneurs have developed new tricks to make food that's literally illuminating, using ingredients that are as natural and unprocessed as possible. It's just basic food chemistry, folks.
NPR

Democrat Climate Activist Is Election's Biggest Donor — That We Know Of

Activist Tom Steyer has spent an astonishing $58 million this election cycle. He says he wants leaders in Washington who will take climate change seriously.
NPR

Tweets In Hong Kong Put Kenny G In Jam With Communist Party

The saxophone superstar, hugely popular in mainland China, walked into a minefield in Hong Kong. Selfies with demonstrators sparked a response from the government — and Kenny G took down the tweets.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.