Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Both what to report and when to report it can be legitimately debated in an editorial room. But not whether to accept demands to conceal “unflattering” truth for the sake of being allowed to report at all.

That’s the “dilemma” some news organizations face when they wish to report from within a country whose government will deny access unless they toe the line.

The reportage by longtime Reuters journalist Paul Mooney, who specializes in China, has apparently been too candid. The Chinese government has denied him a visa. His career there may be over. What should Reuters do?

Not what Bloomberg News did when its reporting incurred the displeasure of Chinese officials. Bloomberg spiked an investigative report about the financial ties between billionaire businessmen and Politiburo officials, for fear of being ejected from the country. Bloomberg insists that it has merely delayed the story. But the motive is clearly a desire to appease the Chinese government, which has already blocked the Bloomberg News website inside China and refused new visas to Bloomberg journalists.

Instead of killing or deferring disapproved journalism, any news outfit threatened with expulsion by an authoritarian government should publish its honest reports and let the chips fall where they may. If kicked out, it should seek other ways to report on the country. Covert communiqués from careful Chinese citizens. Secondary sources if necessary. That’s better than actively cooperating with wrongdoers to hide their sins.

It’s really not too different from crime reporting. Crime bosses don’t like a nosy press, either.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Rick Morgan says:

    The media are doing the same with the Obama administration. They seem to think that getting and publishing talking points pablum is the same as reporting

  2. JFB says:

    Free speech was never a right with no ramifications, and in China there is no such right.
    This conflict has existed forever, and it makes no difference what label the ruling individual or cliche chooses to use to describe itself, royalty, democratic. socialist, Nazi or communist, the efforts are always the same. There is a reason freedom of the press was one of the concerns addressed in the Bill of Rights. Lets try to preserve it here.

  3. …. It’s really not too different from crime reporting. Crime bosses don’t like a nosy press, either ….

    It’s absolutely no different from all crime reporting. Peking’s Pack of Predators AKA the Chinese “government” are but crime bosses**, too and no more ‘like’ a nosy press, than do any others.

    And as one who has spent most of his adult life in various third world s’holes (and some nicer ones, like the one I’m in Right now) – aggregate decades – I can confidently assert that Rick Morgan is spot on about the Fascist Media but doing the same with the criminal gang posing as America’s government as I observed Peter Arnett et al “reporting” from Iraq, where, during my more than 150 trips into, around and, thank God, out again, I spent a total of almost two years of the eight of the Iraq-Iran War.

    “Reporting” has been no such thing since, during Watergate, Bob Woodward’s and Carl Bernstein’s effective stenography was confused with journalism.

    Brian Richard Allen

    **“When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded …”
    –Ayn Rand/ Francisco d’Anconia/ Atlas Shrugged

  4. Pat says:

    Journalists are no different than most of the commercial companies doing business in China. Their bottom line matters more than the truth. They’ll do whatever it takes to gain an advantage, however illusory, over their competitors. And they wonder why we don’t trust them.

  5. MoreFreedom says:

    Bloomberg, with his financial interest in China, is protecting his financial interests, by controlling his news organizations. So much for the media speaking truth to power. Especially when their management, are in bed with those who use government FORCE against others, for their own desires. Bloomberg believes its a good thing for him to CONTROL what others may eat.

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