The limits of control

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Beijing is running into some resistance from its press over censorship.

About 100 reporters of the Beijing News walked out after this week's sacking of the daily's top editor, the latest victim of China's strict press controls, industry sources said on Friday.

But while Communist Party officials were reasserting their hold on the feisty tabloid, nearly instantaneous Internet reporting of the dismissal and a flurry of online discussions suggested some of the limits of its control.

Internet postings decried the dismissal of Yang Bin as editor—in—chief of the Beijing News.

China thinks it can keep control of the media, via blocking many websites and employing filters to catch key words and remove content. But keeping up with 100 million web users is no easy trick, and various tricks, including slang and code make filters difficult to keep current.

The regime intends to have a semi—free economy and an unfree media. It is an open question if this is possible.

Hat tip: Brian Schwarz

Thomas Lifson   12 30 05

Beijing is running into some resistance from its press over censorship.

About 100 reporters of the Beijing News walked out after this week's sacking of the daily's top editor, the latest victim of China's strict press controls, industry sources said on Friday.

But while Communist Party officials were reasserting their hold on the feisty tabloid, nearly instantaneous Internet reporting of the dismissal and a flurry of online discussions suggested some of the limits of its control.

Internet postings decried the dismissal of Yang Bin as editor—in—chief of the Beijing News.

China thinks it can keep control of the media, via blocking many websites and employing filters to catch key words and remove content. But keeping up with 100 million web users is no easy trick, and various tricks, including slang and code make filters difficult to keep current.

The regime intends to have a semi—free economy and an unfree media. It is an open question if this is possible.

Hat tip: Brian Schwarz

Thomas Lifson   12 30 05