Dark Days for Chinese Journalists

Even as Evan Osnos was writing about the beating of Fang Xuanchang, an editor at Caijing magazine, renowned investigative journalist Wang Keqin was posting on his blog about the beating of another Chinese journalist, this time a CCTV reporter in Shanxi province.


On July 7th, a villager from the Kuchi Reservoir area of Yuncheng, Shanxi, reported to this newspaper: “On the afternoon of July 5th, a CCTV reporter conducting interviews in the Kuchi Reservoir [area] was beaten, and his camera was smashed.”

Our reporter got a call through to the Yuncheng Yanhu district PSB branch, and the female officer who answered the phone reported: “We have already accepted this case, a reporter was beaten, and we have already filed it [as a case].”

Reporter: “Was a camera smashed?”

Female officer: “I am not clear on that, you’ll have to go through the proper procedures before we can provide you with detailed information.”

Next, our reporter contacted the superintendent of the Kuchi Reservoir, the board of management of the Yuncheng New Airport district. The relevant manager, Du Baoyan, said over the phone: “Yeah, something did happen, it’s not a big problem. There was a little friction, I’m not clear on the details, but the PSB has already intervened.”

After this, a member of […] the board of management staff told us, “On that day, a CCTV reporter was on Mingqing First Street […] conducting interviews, [then he/she] was beaten and the camera was smashed.”


Obviously, there aren’t a lot of details yet on this case, so it’s a bit premature to pass judgement. And the fact that this happened right around the same time as the beating of a Caijing editor is almost certainly coincidental. Still, it hammers home how dangerous being a journalist in China can be even when you work for a media outlet as official as CCTV.

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