August 4 — China Newsweekly magazine, published by China’s official China News Service newswire, and a number of other Chinese media have offered consistent coverage of the country’s national ordinance on openness of government information since it went into effect on May 1. An editorial in the commercial Xi’an Evening Post added its own soft pressure on the issue of information openness on August 4, arguing that government decisions against releasing information should be made according to the law.
August 6 — Hong Kong’s Apple Daily reported that the August 5 edition of People’s Daily reported nothing whatsoever of the terrorist attacks in Xinjiang on August 4 that left 16 police officers dead and 16 wounded. The Hong Kong paper also reported that mainland commercial newspapers, including Southern Metropolis Daily, Beijing Times and The Beijing News, mentioned the Xinjiang attack only briefly in the inside pages. CMP’s analysis of Chinese newspaper coverage of the Xinjiang attack shows that while Apple Daily’s point that coverage of the incident was scant is basically sound, it is not true the People’s Daily ran no coverage, and not exactly true that commercial papers ran the story only inside.
August 8 — The 2008 Olympic Games opened in Beijing to enthusiastic coverage by China’s media, and under cautions to emphasize “positive news.” For further analysis of newspaper pages, see “Red Letter Day,” from Eric Mu at Danwei.org. See ESWN for comments on the reflections of Chinese Web users on the Game’s opening ceremony.