Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. 24/7 Space News .




SHAKE AND BLOW
China censors coverage of deadly Beijing floods
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) July 24, 2012


Beijing authorities have reportedly ordered Chinese media to stick to positive news about record weekend floods, after the death of at least 37 people sparked fierce criticism of the government.

Censors also deleted microblog posts criticising the official response to the disaster in China's rapidly modernising capital, which came at a time of heightened political sensitivity ahead of a 10-yearly handover of power.

City propaganda chief Lu Wei told media outlets to stick to stories of "achievements worthy of praise and tears", the Beijing Times daily reported, as authorities tried to stem a tide of accusations that they failed to do enough.

Many Beijing residents took to the country's popular microblogs, or weibos, to complain that some of the deaths could have been prevented if better warnings had been issued and the city's ancient drainage systems modernised.

A call by the Beijing government for donations to an emergency flood relief fund was also criticised by microbloggers, with many ridiculing the authorities for asking ordinary people to pay for the damage.

On Tuesday, over 72,000 postings on a microblog thread focused on the call for donations were deleted.

David Bandurski, who monitors China's Internet censorship at the Hong Kong-based China Media Project, said most of the microblog postings censored in China over the last two days related to the Beijing floods.

"There could be a number of reasons for this, but the overarching reason could be the upcoming change of leadership at the (Communist Party's) 18th Party Congress," Bandurski told AFP.

"This is an important political meeting, so when people are pointing responsibility at local government incompetence, everyone goes into sensitive mode... no one wants to take responsibility for anything."

This year's Congress will see President Hu Jintao step down from his position as head of China's ruling Communist party in a leadership change that will usher in a new generation of leaders expected to be led by Vice President Xi Jinping.

Authorities were still clearing up the damage from Saturday's disaster as the country's top leaders gathered in Beijing on Monday for a meeting addressed by Hu that was given front-page coverage in state newspapers.

The China Daily, a state-run English-language newspaper with a predominantly foreign readership, ran an editorial on Tuesday urging Beijing authorities to improve the drainage system, which it said "leaves much to be desired".

But much of China's state-run media steered away from critical stories, focusing on human interest angles of residents helping each other out.

Senior Beijing leaders at an emergency meeting late Monday urged greater efforts to find those still missing, identify the bodies and repair flood-damaged roads.

But residents in the worst hit district of Fangshan on the mountainous southwestern outskirts of China's sprawling capital told AFP the government was doing little to help find their missing loved-ones.

"The government doesn't help at all, every family is responsible for searching for their own family members," said Wang Baoxiang, whose 30-year-old nephew had been missing since going out in Saturday's rains.

According to official assessments released Monday, seven people remained missing, but in the badly hit Fangshan district, locals told AFP reporters that at least 10 people were missing in one small village.

Tuesday's Beijing Daily quoted mayor Guo Jinlong as saying any increases in the death toll should be reported immediately, amid suspicion that the authorities may be underplaying the impact of the floods.

Guo also urged journalists to "correctly guide public opinion", code words in China that which mean to only portray the government in a positive light.

"The news media has played a very good role in timely reporting the developments in emergency response operations, correctly leading the public opinion... and playing a role in boosting morale," Guo said.

"The focus of our rescue work and news propaganda must now be moved toward the suburban areas, especially those areas severely hit by the disaster like Fangshan."

.


Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





SHAKE AND BLOW
Anger in Beijing as record rains kill at least 37
Beijing (AFP) July 23, 2012
Beijing residents expressed fury on Monday after the worst rains to hit the Chinese capital in more than 60 years left at least 37 people dead, with at least another seven still missing. Many said lives could have been saved and some of the worst devastation avoided if a better warning system had been in place, and criticised the city's antiquated water infrastructure. "If the drainage s ... read more


SHAKE AND BLOW
Another Small Step for Mankind

Russia starts building Moon spaceship, eyes Lunar base

Plans to revisit Moon impeded by financial difficulties

Russia says no manned moon shots till 2018

SHAKE AND BLOW
Slow-Going at Cape York for Opportunity

ExoMars program gathers strength

Opportunity Runs the First Martian Marathon

NASA Conducts Mission Simulations In Hawaii

SHAKE AND BLOW
NASA Offers Condolences on the Passing of Pioneering Astronaut Sally Ride

Sally Ride, first US woman in space dead at 61

America Invents Act is a game changer

NASA Completes Another Orion Parachute Test

SHAKE AND BLOW
Looking Forward to Shenzhou 10

Astronauts in good shape after return

Shenzhou mission sparks 'science fever'

China Beats Russia on Space Launches

SHAKE AND BLOW
Russian cargo ship fails to dock at ISS: NASA

Russian cargo ship fails to dock at ISS during tests

Japanese Rocket Sends Cargo to ISS

Japan sends cargo to space station

SHAKE AND BLOW
NASA Partner United Launch Alliance Completes Two Atlas V Reviews

The Spaceport maintains its mission cadence for Ariane 5 flights

S. Korea plans fresh rocket launch in October

NASA Selects Launch Services Contract for Jason-3 Mission

SHAKE AND BLOW
UCF Discovers Exoplanet Neighbor

Can Astronomers Detect Exoplanet Oceans

The Mysterious Case of the Disappearing Dust

Study in Nature sheds new light on planet formation

SHAKE AND BLOW
Apple wants billions from Samsung in patent fight

SWF Announces International Dialog on Satellite Servicing and Debris Removal

Tablets to push US electronic sales above $200 bn

Researchers Almost Double Light Efficiency in LC Projectors




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement