Link to RSF’s advice for foreign journalists covering human rights situation during Beijing Games

\'La censure.\'

Georges Lafosse: 'La censure.'

So it seems that the next Olympic games will be a tremendous communication-information-sign-warfare. In this communication battle that history showed totalitarian regimes always win — although they do not win the war — democratic countries are most probably going to lose. Simple: most of the Western wishful-thinking amateur human rights organisations are more interested in protesting for the sake of good conscience than to actually change the situation in China and improve their lives; anyway they are powerless in this respect and all they can do is to prevent from giving the Chinese authorities any levy to control their communication about the ‘imperial West’ and boost Chinese nationalistic pride by showing e.g. images of extremists desperately trying to jump on a woman in a wheelchair to turn off the Olympic torch. On the other end, governments have decided to participate and be present, and they are very unlikely to make any action that would have a communication impact directed towards the people, which could breach the carefully planned Chinese communication. The Chinese authorities can easily cut any uncomfortable speech, as long as they have images of world leaders assisting the ceremony to show to the Chinese masses. What would be difficult to censor would be any visible sign that world leaders would wear, a bit like a big T-shirt or something protesting against human rights abuses. But this is unlikely to happen. The battle for communication with the Chinese people is lost in advance, but at least ‘we’ should have the right to know and not be the victims of censorship of ‘our’ journalists in China.

Here is a link to advices for journalists in Beijing for bypassing Chinese control of information and possible censorship to ‘our’ right of information:

http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=27991

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About Frank Ejby Poulsen

Education: MRes History, European University Institute, Florence, Italy. MSc Political Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. LLM International law and EU law, University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, France. Academia Profile: http://eui.academia.edu/FrankEjbyPoulsen Languages: French: Mother tongue Danish: C2 English: C2 German: B1-B2 Spanish: A2-B1 Norwegian and Swedish: reading comprehension
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