November 8 – Chinese media rang in the country’s seventh annual Journalist’s Day with a range of buzzwords expressing various views on the role of journalism in China, but topping the list by a long shot was President Hu Jintao’s “Harmonious Society”. “In a CMP analysis of eight key buzzwords, “harmonious society” logged more than double the references of any other buzzword. On a day purportedly dedicated to the profession of journalism in China, there was no mention whatsoever of the term “professionalism” in the party or commercial press.
November 13 — Chinese writer Tie Ning was appointed chairman yesterday of the China Writer’s Association (CWA), an official organization that nominally represents the interests of professional writers but which some have said serves as a tool of ideological control. Following in the footsteps of writers Mao Dun and Ba Jin, Tie Ning is the first female chairman of the organization, a post that has been empty since Ba Jin’s death just over one year ago. She is also the first chairman under the age of 50. Tie Ning’s appointment comes as China’s world of arts and letters stands at what some say is an important crossroads, with the role of the writer in society in question.
November 13 — Former JMSC Assistant Professor Andrew Lih reported that blocks were being progressively lifted in China on the Chinese version of online encyclopedia Wikipedia. [More at Andrewlih.com].
November 12 — An estimated 2,00 people demonstrated at a hospital in China’s Sichuan Province after learning of the death of a three year-old boy who was reportedly denied emergency treatment after he had ingested a pesticide because his parent could not pay the fees up front. Two articles on the incident appeared in Chinese media over the weekend, but there was no mention of the demonstrations and emphasis was placed on an official investigation announced by local leaders. [New York Times coverage].
November 13 — Chinese search engine leader Baidu.com announced the signing of an agreement with U.S.-based online auction service eBay. The cooperation covers a co-branded toolbar in China as well as advertising and online bill payment. [TechNewsWorld coverage].