Saturday, March 29, 2008


Posted: Thursday, March 27, 2008 3:54 PM
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By Adrienne Mong, NBC News producer

BEIJING, China Quite possibly one of the busiest people in China right now are the television censors.

As international news broadcasters like the BBC World Service Television and CNN International play footage around the clock of the Tibet unrest, viewers with access to satellite TV in Beijing and across cities in China find themselves scratching their heads as reports suddenly go to black whenever the word "Tibet" comes up.

Sometimes the screen goes black before a report about Tibet airs.

Sometimes the screen goes black right after the report begins airing.

Sometimes the screen goes black midway through the report – as though the censor had stepped away to make a cup of tea and returned a little too late.

Sometimes the screen doesn't go to black at all, and entire broadcasts go to air without interruption.

These include a live transmission by a Hong Kong cable television crew from a Muslim quarter of Lhasa, showing Chinese security forces searching homes the day after the first riots broke out on March 14.

Or, today, when some international broadcasters such as the BBC carried dramatic pictures of Tibetan monks bursting onto a small group of foreign press on a government-orchestrated tour of Jokhang Temple and openly condemning the Chinese authorities.

I wondered whether this footage was allowed to be broadcast in full because the news presenter read over the video speaking in general terms about the situation in Tibet, and so viewers had no idea what the monks were actually saying unless they went online to read about the story.

But if a viewer did get on the Internet in China, Googled "Tibet monks," and tried to click on the Associated Press's article a message saying, "problem loading page," popped up.

The same thing happens when you try to click on the reports about the monks' outburst on the websites for BBC News, the New York Times, the Financial Times, and even China's very own state-run news agency, Xinhua.

NBC video reports and blogs about Tibet on this site also have been blocked, including the World Blog, which is normally accessible in China.

So in order to obtain any current news about Tibet, we – like many foreign media – have to rely on our own company Intranet.

For those without access to a company Intranet in China, they have to use a proxy server.

Or else they ask journalists. For days now, the most common refrain from my non-media friends has been, "What's happening in Tibet?" "What have you heard?"

But for once during this year of newly relaxed press regulations in China, journalists are also stumped. Tibet and the surrounding Tibetan communities in China continue to remain off-limits to the media, except for in highly controlled circumstances.

Comments on ""


Blogger Stan said ... (9:37 AM) : 

China has always controlled the press and electronic news media sources. They must control these outlets to allow their citizens access to only that in which the government wants them to see or hear. That is the basic rule in communism. During the reign of communism in the U.S.S.R., their citizens were swamped with news clip films showing the U.S. as an improvished nation with people standing in food lines, the clips were taken during the Great Depression but aired in the mid fifties and into the seventies. If you can control the freedom of speech, you can control the masses. It will be interesting to see how the Olympics will be affected this year. Tibet is an inprovished country, controlled by China and will continue to be into the future. Taiwan was established by those that fled China to escape the Communism rule, today China still insists that it is under their control and authority, however, the U.S. has supported Taiwan and it remains free of the dominnance of China. Just another reason not to buy "Made In China"


Blogger Shana said ... (11:16 AM) : 

father...we too the pentagon...then ask your self why your country moved nuclear weapons that were not suppose to be moved...over our heads...and sold them to Taiwan I think it was??? there are videos of several senators asking Mr Bush why this was done with out our knowledge...they are also accusing him of being the anti Christ...although I dont believe that one...he is just doing what he is told...father...please read deeper...our bases are increasing security up here...things changed the other day for Eric trying to get on and off...Air Raid sirrens are tested at least twice a day...Honollulu Air port is increasing it's security...why?? Dad you raised me to be aware of the world around watch our government with pride...I did...but not with too much pride after the 70's ended. I love my world...not the one man made it into...


Blogger Stan said ... (12:00 PM) : 

Shana, verify your sources pertaining to Nuclear arms sold to Taiwan. Keeping in mind that the internet does not always provide the ultimate truth nor the facts. I am sure what you are referring to is that recently in a normal arms shipment to Taiwan, several missle fuses was included in the shipment that are utilized in nuclear missles. Taiwan discovered the error, notified the U.S. and they were told to destroy them. They in fact returned them to us. A fuse used in a missle does not constitute a nuclear weapon. A full investigation is underway as to how the error occurred, keeping mind we are dealing with humans. I surely do not mind any of our bases or airports increasing their security, it has been to relaxed for to long. For one, I would like to see it increased to even a higher level. The sirens that you hear are most likely the new alert system that is being developed throughout the west coast to warn of pending tidal waves. Homer and Anchor Point have regular tests as well and we do not have any military bases. The warning program is being developed to cover a larger area after the devastating tidal waves that struck the SE Asia several years ago. You will also notice that the same tests are being done on radio and tv on a more frequent basis.


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