OLD Media Moves

Chinese business journalist sues government for censure

November 6, 2008

Tina Wang of Forbes.com reports Thursday that a Chinese business journalist is suing that country’s government for a ruling that caused her business publication to shut down and for her and other journalists to lose their jobs.

Wang writes, “A business reporter, Cui Fan, sued a government bureau last week for halting publication of the newspaper where she works, in what she said was retaliation for her critical coverage of a major state bank. But the lawsuit is likely to stand as a public statement rather than serious legal challenge since her claims have little chance of gaining ground in China’s court system.Read more here.

“Cui wrote a July 11 investigative report for the China Business Post alleging corruption at a Hunan province branch of the Agricultural Bank of China, which is getting a makeover in anticipation of an initial public offering. She wrote that officials were taking illegal action to shed 4.6 billion yuan ($673.7 million) worth of bad assets. In a Sept. 8 directive, the state-run Inner Mongolian Press and Publishing Bureau suspended the weekly China Business Post, which is registered with that bureau, from publishing for three months.

“Cui claims in her suit that the state has the legal authority to halt distribution of a particular issue of a paper but not to suspend a paper from publishing for three months. Her suit demands a withdrawal of the decision, an apology from the bureau, and a symbolic 1 yuan (15 cents) in compensation, according to a report in the South China Morning Post.”

Read more here.

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