Lan Chenchang (兰成长) A Shanxi-based reporter for China Trade News (中国贸易报) was severely beaten by unknown assailants on January 9 while covering a coalmine near Datong City in Shanxi, according to a report from Southern Metropolis Daily [report via Sohu.com]. The reporter died of his injuries the next day, and a controversy is now brewing over Lan Chenchang’s identity as a journalist. While a source at China Trade News told Southern Metropolis Daily they had hired Lan on a freelance basis, officials in Datong have insisted Lan Chenchang was a “fake” reporter killed because he tried to extort money with a negative news report.
On January 12, just two days after Lan’s death, the city government in Datong launched a new campaign against “fake” reporters in the area [Chinese coverage from Sohu.com].
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