Sunday, July 31, 2011

Defying Chinese Media Deliver Stenographic Messages

The entire Chinese media 'exploded' after the bullet train accident on 7/23/2011. Even the central TV network weighed in to question the handling of the accident. Premier Wen Jiabao arrived the scene and told the rail system to 'tell the truth'.

However, one day later, the Central Propaganda Department ordered no more reporting on the accident. The accident and any related topics were banned from the Internet as well as traditional media.

A few newspaper defied by continuing cover the disaster, while most of them had to retreat. Thousands of reporters and editors uploaded their 'original edition' of newspaper to the Internet in protest.

Some paper gave in, but in protest, replaced the entire issue of newspaper with advertisement, and advertisement only. Some paper tried to send steganographic message that smart readers would recognize, such as the 'New Beijing' daily's first page story: 'Seven days of continuing rain, two warnings in a day'.
The 'seven days' refereed to seven days after the 7/23 train disaster. The 'first seven days' is also a period while the dead were mourned in Chinese culture. The 'two warnings in a day' referred to the two gagging orders in a day sent from the Central Propaganda Department.

The insubordinate actions cost many their jobs, including a CCTV producer.

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