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Report Shows Rapid Decline of Media Freedom in China: Unprecedented Hurdles

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Foreign correspondents in China face “unprecedented hurdles” in their reporting from within the country, according to an annual survey published Monday by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (FCCC).

 

99% of respondents believe that the conditions in which they work do not meet international standards.

“The FCCC is concerned about the rapid decline of media freedom in China,” the organization said in a statement. In the survey, the foreign journalists reported, among other things, frequent threats about lawsuits, online troll campaigns and the eviction of colleagues.

In the run-up to the Beijing Winter Olympics, which began Friday, 60 percent of the 127 foreign correspondents surveyed criticized the lack of information provided by organizers about the events. In addition, almost a third complain that they are excluded from events that would be accessible to other media.

Some journalists also reported visa rejections and unwanted checks, intimidation and harassment in their day-to-day work. “The reporting from China suffers as a result,” the FCCC said. For example, nearly two-thirds of correspondents surveyed say they have been prevented from reporting a news event at least once by police officers or other government officials.

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