As a journalist from China, many people often asked me about the issue of press freedom.
Indeed, China has a relatively tight censorship of media. Some reports related to specific areas such as the official corruption are under restrictions. However, it does not mean that journalists in China are not able to report the facts. There are many excellent investigative reporters try to do deeply investigation into the society and be closer to the facts.
On the Internet, led by Sina Weibo, the new media plays an important role in revealing social realities. More and more Chinese citizens are taking part in the online activities, for instance protecting the environment, anti-corruption and so on. People wish to gain more freedom to promote progress.
Recently in the UK, a cross-party deal for a new press regulator has been reached by the main parties at Westminster, which is set to introduce the strictest rules on press regulation ever seen in the UK.
Being in a country that proudly states to respect press freedom, why does the government do the press reform, which arouse many concerns of the UK media? It is not the first time the media use illegal approaches to get scoops. The key point here is that the press harmed the privacy of the innocent people and put a price of the heart and soul. There is no moral bottom line here in the phone-hacking scandal. Till now, there are still more than 800 fresh victims due to the hacking revelations.
It is necessary to regulate the press under an independent fair organization. Under unlimited freedom, with media profits and politics involved, the press could not avoid going to the wrong direction without regulation. When self-regulation proves to be a failure, there is a need for another new watchdog to keep an eye on the watchdog.
Freedom, no matter it is physical or spiritual, attract people from every country in the world to pursue. Freedom to breathe, move, talk or think. While freedom without regulation cannot be called true, it may however cause havoc in the society that affect everyone’s life. The media should strengthen self-discipline to rebuild public trust in journalism.
2013 World Press Freedom Index: Dashed Hopes After Spring: http://en.rsf.org/press-freedom-index-2013,1054.html
Freedom of the Press 2012: http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/freedom-press-2012