‘The More Truth You Know, the More Distressed You Feel': China's Journalists’ Day

What journalists in China “need most is a sound legal system to protect their safety and dignity,” one TV reporter reflected online on Chinese Journalists’ Day, which falls on November 8.

Other Chinese reporters joined in on the occasion, voicing their concerns about censorship, the state media and freedom of the press on Sina Weibo, the country's most popular microblogging website. 

Wang Shisi, a veteran journalist, shared [zh] his thoughts:

Pic from Sina Weibo

Picture from Sina Weibo

记者节。从业22年,如下感悟:1 身体经造, 灵魂经烤;2 无冕之王只是客气,当真了就死定了;3 有时知道真相越多越苦恼;4 没良知别监督, 没常识别批评,否则难免被嫖娼被跨省;5 没法律保障,只能靠组织护佑;6 骂美国比骂村长安全;7 可以不说事实,但千万别撒谎;8 小姐的活法,圣女的操守。

Journalists’ Day. Here are my feelings after being in this industry for 22 years: 1. My body and soul have been tortured; 2. The uncrowned king is just being polite. If you take it seriously, you are dead; 3. Sometimes the more truth you know, the more distressed you feel; 4. Don’t supervise or criticize if you don’t have the common sense, lest you be prostituted; 5. No legal protection, can only rely on organization's protection; 6. Blaming the United States is safter than cursing village leaders; 7. You don’t have to tell the truth, but do not lie; 8. Live like a prostitute, but protect yourself like a virgin.

Shi’s comments have resonated among many journalists, with popular TV host Meng Fei[zh] pointing out:


Today is Journalists’ Day. In fact, reporters do not need the holiday to enhance their sense of honor, what they need most is a sound legal system to protect their safety and dignity.

In reaction to the latest “Big-V” crackdown on social media, TV host Hu Ziwei posted [zh] a poem written by her journalist friend:


Silence is not quiescence, silence does not mean identity, silence is not to give up, silence casts responsibility. Silence is a sound, silence is the truth. Compared with public opinion, the press is silent. 2013, journalism is sinking and struggling. In order not to make the hustle and bustle of nothingness succeed, identifying the hustle and bustle of nothingness is necessary.—A journalist fellow written on Journalists’ Day

Luo Changping, deputy chief editor from Caijing magazine, wrote [zh]: 


A transparent government cannot only rely on the government, but also on civil society and the private sectors. Similar to the judicial system, an independent and authoritative news industry is an important foundation for establishing a transparent government.

Journalist Deng Fei called for the use of new media in the digital age:


Times have changed since journalists were empowered to spread news, but we still have the power of words, thoughts, values and communication skills. We must advance with the times, improve ourselves by using various new media forms and spread our values through new media or citizen media.

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