MEDIA WATCH – Al-Jazeera Scrutinises South China Morning Post Amidst Newsroom ‘Discontent’


Yesterday, Al-Jazeera English broadcast a 10-minute report about the South China Morning Post as part of their global media watchdog programme, Listening Post.

The show may be downloaded as a podcast here. Read Hong Wrong’s exclusive investigation into self-censorship at the South China Morning Post here, and our special comment on the paper’s history and importance.

  • Little Eye on SCMPIn the report, host Richard Gizbert states that “the paper’s editorial line on China is looking more-and-more like it’s crafted in Beijing and, in the newsroom, one can hear sounds of discontent.”
  • Ex-journalist and legislator Claudia Mo laments how the Post is “becoming more and more like an official Beijing mouthpiece”. Meanwhile, SCMP columnist Alex Lo, says that Hong Kong is at a crossroads and “it’s more important than ever to create more room for dialogue”.
  • A current Post journalist is interviewed on condition of anonymity, fearing for their job. He states that “this isn’t a case of stories being ripped up in front of people’s faces. There’s a subtly about it. They don’t want to be seen as censors. I think most subjects will get covered – it’s how they’re covered. The way the police act, in particular; the treatment of protesters; the great power of a small number of wealthy people and their ties to the government; and some pan-democratic politicians – especially those who are more vocal – they will be dubbed ‘radicals’.”
  • The programme goes on to discuss the paper’s history, ownership, self-censorship, recent concerns and its controversial editor Wang Xiangwei.
Censorship at the SCMP under Wang Xiangwei

Al-Jazeera Listening Post, 23.8.14

The broadcast comes weeks after a similar report on the channel’s 101 East programme and another from the Listening Post in March.

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Read Hong Wrong’s investigation Part 1 and Part 2. Despite repeated efforts to reach out, none of the SCMP’s senior staff, editor or management had any comment to share on the the issues raised by the blog’s recent findings.

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