July 24 — High-level Party leaders responded to the recent “cardboard bun” controversy with an apparent tightening of media controls. The response came in the form of an official notice on June 23 stressing that media should report truthfully and accurately, “building a responsibility system for major lapses [in news coverage] and [setting up] an examination and approval system [for news products].” The notice was the first response from high-level Chinese officials on the cardboard bun controversy since the story began on July 8.
June 24 — CMP learned from sources within the Chinese media that China Central Television, responding to the cardboard bun story, issued an internal order that all non-contract journalists working with the network be dismissed by July 27. One CMP source referred to the move as the “massacre of the freelancers.”
July 27 — CMP fellow Zhan Jiang attacked the use by local law enforcement of China’s Law on Management of Public Security to target ordinary citizens transmitting information over the internet. Zhan’s editorial followed an upsurge in the number of relevant cases, including the arrest of a 23 year-old Web user in Jinan and the arrest in June 2007 of a Wuxi resident who claimed in a text message that cancer-causing agents in the polluted Taihu Lake were 200 times above acceptable standards.

David Bandurski

CMP Director

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