February 25 – Citing recent poor practice by government press spokespersons (withholding of information, taking a combative tone with questioners, etc), the Shenzhen Municipal Government announced the rollout of a new “responsibility system” that would hold the group accountable (发言人问责制). The following day, February 26, Henan’s Dahe Daily ran an editorial saying spokesperson responsibility systems should be rolled out more widely as they respected the public’s right to know. The Shenzhen system, said the writer, showed the city’s confidence in facing public scrutiny.
February 26 – Oriental Daily News (东方日报) and The Sun (太阳报), both Hong Kong-based newspapers with limited circulation in Guangdong province, were prevented from police by reaching Guangdong newsstands after running a series of articles that raised the hackles of provincial officials. The reports dealt with issues of social inequality, including disputes over land and unpaid salaries. Guangdong authorities have warned that a penalty of 15 days in jail will be imposed on anyone who distributes these newspapers locally, and media have been banned from reporting on the incident.
February 28 – An editorial in the official People’s Daily loudly touted the country’s new Chinese literary awards, which were held on February 2 in Beijing. The editorial, by famous columnist Yuan Xi (袁晞), huffed: “The establishment of this first government-awarded publishing prize is a step in a new direction. What we see from the prize-winning work, prize-winning work unites and individuals is the fine prospect of China’s publishing sector.” The following are Chinese book titles that won prizes at the February 2 ceremony: 《毛泽东传》、《邓小平年谱》、《竞争力经济学》、《中葡关系史》、《中国植物志》.
February 29 — According to a report in Guangdong’s Southern Metropolis Weekly, photographer Wang Lili (王力利) was fired from her post at Tongzhou Newsletter (通州时讯) on January 11 this year after she photographed the local mayor with his eyes closed. The photo was placed in the paper beside news of the mayor’s speech. In a lengthy report on the Wang Lili case, Southern Metropolis Weekly even dared to reprint the photograph in question. [More coverage from Danwei.org].