China Media Bulletin: “Year in Review” Tracks New Declines in Press, Internet Freedom
Media and internet controls tightened in China during 2016, even as government censorship and propaganda tactics expanded beyond the country’s borders. An annual summary of Freedom House’s China Media Bulletin published this week outlines key features of these trends.
“Free expression in China’s already restrictive media environment became even more limited in 2016, as the government stifled new voices and expanded censorship to more channels of communication,” said Sarah Cook, senior research analyst for East Asia at Freedom House and director of the China Media Bulletin. “The Communist Party’s tactics increasingly affect information flows outside of China’s borders, a trend we expect to continue in 2017.”
Highlights of the 2016 China Media Bulletin summary include:
- A study of leaked censorship directives, shedding light on Beijing’s information control priorities in 2016
- Details of 111 cases of Chinese citizens’ imprisoned in 2016 for exercising their right to free expression
- Analysis of investigative journalism’s struggles to survive, and how new regulations tighten internet censorship and surveillance
- An examination of Beijing’s unprecedented chilling effect on free expression in Hong Kong
- Highlights of the global impact of Chinese government information controls, including internet censorship assistance to Russia and a network of Confucius classrooms in elementary and high schools worldwide.
- Key events to watch for in 2017
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.