8 November, 2005

china bloggercon

Micah, Rebecca and Bingfeng have some of the best commentary and English-language posting on the past weekend’s China Blogger Conference. From the former, a short comment that mentions myself and Joon.:

Since I translated the schedule of the conference on this weblog before, let me take a new angle on the Chinese Blogger Conference; there were several different groups of people present at the conference: the media, commercial interests, evangelizers and experts, and hobbyists (and probably the PSB, but let’s not be paranoid).

The media are at the conference to cover new trends in the Chinese internet, because that is where the money is right now and they can sell papers if they cover that topic. These guys and girls, depending on their level of Chinese proficiency, were either sitting in the conference hall listening for interesting quotes in the talks, having a smoke in the hallway outside chewing the fat with other journalists, or running around the Green Room trying to get quotes from the last speaker or other stars of the Chinese weblogging scene. They carried laptops, checking their Bloglines accounts and listening in on the official IRC channel, and recording devices and pen/paper to jot down keywords and quotes on the themes they were covering. Sometimes they had a translator or photographer tagging along. The Chinese press had a larger presence the first day, but the foreign contingent stuck around on Sunday while their local counterparts left to take care of other business.

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by @ 11:28 pm. Filed under Blogs, China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

china’s censorship and western media

Shanghai blogger Wang Jian Shuo reports on an exchange he had with a BBC reporter who sought out his comments on censorship,:

I was interviewed by BBC less than one month ago. The reporter (actually a good friend of my friend) arrived in Shanghai and discussed a lot of things during the interview with a big microphone. We talked lots of topics from blogging to the China society. I guess the interview continued for about half an hour. Within the interview, he asked about the censorship of blogging in China. I don’t want to comment on this since I have my own view on this. So I said: “I don’t want to comment on this”.

Several days later, the radio program was broadcasted to the world. It is a program around censorship. The only thing with my name in the radio was “No comment”. The program sounded like this (I don’t remember the exact terms though): Many bloggers faced the pressure of the censorship. Chinese blogger, Jian Shuo Wang even don’t want to talk about it. (Original recording): “What do you think of the censorship of the blogging world in China?” “I don’t want to comment on this”. (end of the recording). The program continued to anther person.

Beeb producer Mark Sandell responds in the comments:

Hmm, i fear that you’ve done on this post what you accuses others of doing; having a lengthy exchange with a producer and then only reporting the question at the end. I should declare an interest; i’m the editor of the programme concerned (World Have Your Say) so i’m bound to be a bit defensive!

We wanted to do a piece on the weekend bloggers conference; how did it go, what was discussed etc and it would be daft if we were to totally ignore the question of censorship but that was one element; not the whole thing.We have in the short life of this programme discussed censorship of blogs in Egypt,Syria and yes, the USA. It’s not like we save the question only for China.

I haven’t heard the BBC report, so I will refrain from directly addressing Sandell’s points. AsiaPundit will, however note that as a foreign correspondent he did question bloggers and corporate participants on censorship. While the conference only skimmed the issue it is a topic of interest and it isn’t one that can be or should be avoided.

AsiaPundit will also admit to engaging in long interviews solely for the purpose of getting short quotes on items of interest. If there is a sensitive issue that a person will not immediately comment on, it’s a standard tactic to lengthen the interview to make a the subject comfortable enough to talk about that topic.

Sometimes it’s important to report a “no comment” and other times it isn’t. In the business press, a “no comment” will often mean that something of a ‘material’ nature is happening that can’t be discussed due to disclosure regulations (if nothing was happening there would be typically be a denial instead of a “no comment,” ergo a lack of comment can indicate news). The way Jianshuo describes the incident leaves me with the impression that the ‘no comment’ did not need to reported in that instance.

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by @ 10:15 pm. Filed under Blogs, China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Media, Weblogs, Censorship

add to cart

Sigh, a new Vietnam-based mail-order bride site has lowered the bar significantly. Option “add to cart.”


(h/t the not worksafe asian-sirens)

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by @ 12:13 am. Filed under Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Vietnam

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