China has better relationships with some news organizations than others, because the restrictive country doesn't hesitate to toss out the ones that defy it. For example, Bloomberg recently killed two stories for fear of getting evicted, and a Reuters journalist was denied a visa over his past misgivings.
So things go in China. The New York Times reported Saturday morning, per four Bloomberg journalists speaking anonymously, that the news company recently killed two stories that were critical of the government. The stories were killed over fear Chinese officials would kick their news operation out of the country, or place heavy restrictions in the future, their editors said. One killed story was a year long investigation into close ties between government officials and billionaire business tycoons that made its way through a long, arduous editing process before being abruptly cancelled. The decision to kill the stories was especially surprising for the Bloomberg journalists because Bloomberg had tangled with the government after publishing stories critical of the Chinese government before. "[Bloomberg editor in chief Matthew Winkler] said, 'If we run the story, we’ll be kicked out of China,'" one Bloomberg employee said.
Bloomberg editors denied killing the stories. "What you have is untrue," Winkler told the Times. "The stories are active and not spiked." Some employees pointed to Bloomberg's chief executive Daniel L. Doctoroff's scheduled trip to China as a possible reason behind the suspected story killing. The company's namesake, outgoing New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is also expected to visit China soon.
Other publications have faced complications after publishing stories that make China look bad. The Times, for instance, was blocked in two languages by Chinese officials after publishing stories that didn't sit well with the government. Chinese officials denied a resident visa for Paul Mooney, who has covered Asia for decades, and lived in Beijing for 18 years, allegedly over his past coverage of human rights abuses in the country. Mooney was scheduled to start a new job with Reuters before his unfortunate setback.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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