Friday, June 18, 2010

Investigative Journalism

Picked up on a "Wang Keqin" in the 'Guardian' who, it appears, is " China's best-known investigative journalist, breaking a string of stories that have earned him renown, but also death threats from criminals and wrath from officials." Of course, the purpose behind the 'Guardian' article is to tell us all that there is no free press in China. Well, there isn't but is that really so different in Europe and the United States and are American officials still looking for Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks?

Now, how well known China's best-known investigative journalist actually is, we are not told and one wonders how many of the 'Guardian's' readers have heard of Julian Assange. Of course, the problem in the West is that people actually believe that the 'Guardian'is a newspaper where investigative journalism is writ large. That is no closer to the truth than, the 'Times' editior, Daniel Finkelstein's belief that his paper represents "quality journalism". What is, however, true is the journalist turned lawyer, Zhou Ze's, contention that "If reporters' rights cannot be protected, the rights of ordinary citizens cannot be."

It might be worth making a different point and that is that while operating within constraints that are imposed by the authorities, determined journalists in China fight for and find the space to work, while at the major newspapers in the West most journalists badly need to earn the right to call themselves journalists. Of course, those who are contemplating doing so are, no doubt, waiting to hear about Julian Assange's fate. Although, rest assured, even if they were to get their hands on some of the evidence that finds its way to 'Wikileaks' they wouldn't know what to do with it as their editor would most certainly not publish.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your third paragraph is sharp-shooting, to the point stuff, right on target.