The doyen of Chinese investigative reporting, Wang Keqin, is once again on the move. Editors pressured Wang into resigning earlier this week after his newspaper, the Economic Observer, came under pressure from authorities for a series of hard-hitting reports. [READ Wang’s review of investigative reporting in China].
A former CMP fellow, Wang is China’s best-known investigative reporter. Over the past decade he has tackled scores of sensitive stories, from systematic corruption in China’s taxi industry to the spread of HIV-AIDS through careless and unnecessary blood transfusions. He was forced out of his previous newspaper, the China Economic Times, in 2011 after a spate of hard-hitting reports, including a 2010 expose about the mishandling of tainted vaccines in Shanxi province.
Pressure over Wang Keqin’s reports has reportedly been mounting at the Economic Observer in recent months. Officials were particularly upset about a report the paper ran last summer exploring disastrous effects of record floods that hit Beijing in July.
According to the Weiboscope, a tool created by researchers at the University of Hong Kong’s Journalism & Media Studies Centre that measures trending topics on the Sina Weibo platform, Wang Keqin’s exit from the Economic Observer is among the top topics being discussed in the past 24 hours.
In a post made to Sina Weibo yesterday, Wang Keqin shared details with his more than 400,000 followers about the clearing out of his desk at the Economic Observer the day before:
Yesterday I cleared out of the @EconomicObserver. These are the petitioning materials I received over a period of ten years at the China Economic Times, two tons of them. For other people these might just be waste paper; for me, they represent the trust and hope the people place in me. The things stacked here are misery, blood and tears, but I’ve always seen them as treasures. They go with me wherever I go. I can throw away my furniture, but these cannot be discarded!
昨日我搬离@经济观察报 ，这是过去十多年我在@中国经济时报 时，全国各地上访者给我的上访村料，足有两吨重。对别人而言，可能视为废纸；对我而言，却是民众对我的信任与期盼，虽然堆着的全是苦难与血泪，但我一直视其为宝贝，走到哪里带到哪里。家俱可以扔，信任不能丢！