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洛杉矶时报:薄熙来丑闻加速海外独立媒体崛起(图)

19 5月

唐柏桥新唐人
4月4日唐柏桥参加新唐人《热点互动》节目。(《洛杉矶时报》图片)
【看中国记者路克综合报导】据《洛杉矶时报》5月18日(星期五)报导,对海外与中共持不同意见的中文媒体而言,薄熙来与他的妻子谷开来倒台的丑闻给了这些媒体足够多的猛料。
海外中文媒体的收获季节
《洛杉矶时报》在文章中说这是对这些背景离乡的华人们回报的时候,众多的海外报纸、电视等中文媒体,与中共持不同意见的媒介有如参加竞赛一般,来报导那些被中国审查制度封锁掉的敏感话题。
中国正处在十年一遇的领导换届期,而这促成了政治上的分歧和一连串猥亵的丑闻。在中国大陆媒体上几乎见不到这方面的报道,人们了解这些消息的方式是直接收看卫星电视或是使用虚拟专用网络来绕过政府防火墙的封锁。
《洛杉矶时报》说,就有如在美国的其他非主流媒体一样,《国家询问报》(National Enquirer)首家披露了约翰·爱德华(John Edward,译者注:2008年美国民主党总统参选人)的婚外情,明星网站TMZ第一家报导了麦克·杰克逊的死亡。这些与中共持不同意见的媒体也有他们真正的独家新闻。
香港《开放》杂志主编金钟在接受采访是说:“我们起初只是把看这些网站当成一种乐趣,没有人那么在意。但是现在一些惊人的消息都被证明是真实的,”
外媒态度发生转变
当中国国内媒体还在沉默之时,海外媒体已经在2月初开始报导薄熙来在重庆的亲信王立军已经被解职并在调查之中。事实证明,这是在即将曝光的丑闻中的第一张多米诺骨牌,这之后不久,王立军避到了附近的美国领事馆,声称薄熙来计划杀害他。
《洛杉矶时报》的报导中提到《大纪元时报》以19种语言直言不讳地报导中国政府。新唐人电视台的脱口秀节目也报导了最近出逃的盲人异见人士陈光诚和温家宝在这次政治动荡中可能会辞职的传闻。
新唐人副总裁周世雨在这个月的纽约总部的会议上谈道,“CNN在海弯战争的报导中脱颖而出。半岛电视台得益于阿拉伯之春的报导。中国今年的政治变化会让我们挤身为一家顶级的媒体”、“新唐人观众人数在最近几个月至少增加了5倍,大约每天有50万人在中国大陆收看”。
迫害法轮功的元凶周永康被认为是正处在政治危机之中,因为他支持已经倒台的薄熙来。《大纪元》几乎每天都会报导周永康,如上周的一篇文章写道《中国安全沙皇周永康交出权力》。
《洛杉矶时报》称,在中国内的(外国媒体)记者们表示,海外异见人士们创办的媒体现在是必须要看的,尽管有时也会持有所保留的态度。
中共官方媒体深感危机
可能是感受到了大纪元、新唐人这样的独立于中共控制之外的海外媒体与日俱增的影响力,4月30日,中共官方新华社发表了一篇英文评论,“质问”为何有关薄熙来事件的“谣言”此起彼伏,暗指目前西方主流媒体所报导的新闻很多取自于法轮功学员兴办的大纪元、新唐人等媒体,意思是“西方媒体被法轮大法攻陷”。
海外五毛们也用中文在各大网站和论坛上张贴“海外媒体的同流合污”一文,文章称:“海外的一些主流媒体和台湾、香港一些媒体比如BBC、美国之音,美国中文XX日报,香港X报、X报,XX日报,台湾XX社等显然已被法轮大法攻克,成了法轮大法此次发酵薄熙来舆情的扬声器。”
海外著名民运人士唐柏桥在接受路透社记者采访时,外媒记者不经意间的一句话让他非常触动,他说现在全世界主流媒体都在看《大纪元》。我能感觉到他说这句话时的份量。虽然这应该属于情理之中,但还是感到有点意外。真的没想到,《大纪元》在不知不觉中从遭到冷落,到跻身强大媒体之列,到最后竟成了主流媒体的焦点。“真是奇迹——不,应该说是神迹,”唐柏桥说道。
原文:http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-china-exiles-20120518,0,4818722.story

China’s Bo Xilai scandal revs up news media run by exiles

The scandal involving fallen politician Bo Xilai and his wife gives news outlets run by Chinese exiles a lot of ammunition against the Communist Party.

Falun Gong's New Tang Dynasty TelevisionCommentator Tang Baiqiao appears on New Tang Dynasty Television as technician Meichu Chen works the control panel in the network’s New York newsroom. “The political changes in China this year will make us a top media player,” said Samuel Zhou, a vice president of New Tang Dynasty. (Carolyn Cole, Los Angeles Times / April 4, 2012)
By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles TimesMay 18, 2012

BEIJING — “Beijing power struggle heralds end of ChinaCommunist Party,” screams one headline.

More sensational headlines purport to reveal how the wife of recently sacked Politburo member Bo Xilai poisoned an Englishman, who may have been her lover.

And if that weren’t enough, other stories claim that “Bo planned airline crash” and “slept with more than 100 women.”

It’s payback time for Chinese exiles, especially those with a printing press, television station or just a computer at their disposal. From the newspaper and television network run by the banned Falun Gong to independent Chinese-language news sites in the United States, opposition media are having a field day covering sensitive topics that would be zapped by censors in China.

China is in the midst of a once-in-a-decade leadership transition, which has precipitated a political schism and a cascade of salacious scandals. But hardly a word of it appears in the mainland news media, forcing political junkies to look offshore for their fix, either watching with satellite dishes or surfing the Internet with virtual private networks to get around the government firewall.

The exile news sites, often stridently anti-communist, once had all the credibility of supermarket tabloids trumpeting tales of UFOs. But like some non-mainstream media in the United States — the National Enquirer broke the story of John Edwards’ affair, and the TMZ celebrity news site was first with reports ofMichael Jackson’s death — these operations have had their genuine scoops.

“We used to read these sites mainly for fun. Nobody took them seriously. But now some of these astonishing things have turned out to be true,” said Jin Zhong, editor of the respected Hong Kong-based Open Magazine.

While the Chinese media were silent, the offshore sites were reporting in early February that Wang Lijun, a top police official who was Bo’s henchman in the city of Chongqing, had been removed from his post and was under investigation. That proved to be the first domino in the unfolding scandal: Shortly afterward, Wang took refuge in the nearby U.S. Consulate, claiming that Bo was plotting to kill him.

The biggest scoop came when Boxun, a website operated from North Carolina by an electrical engineer turned journalist, broke the story five days before the Wall Street Journal that Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, was under investigation in the death of Neil Heywood, the British expatriate whose demise late last year had been attributed to a heart attack brought on by excess alcohol consumption.

Gu has since been detained.

The news media in Taiwan and Hong Kong also cover mainland politics closely, but not as voraciously as they once did. “They are not as anti-communist as they used to be,” Jin said.

Among the biggest beneficiaries of the scandal are the print and broadcast operations run out of New York by Falun Gong, a spiritual movement banned by the Chinese government, which deems it a cult. It runs the newspaper Epoch Times, which carries a daily litany of unflattering stories about the Chinese government in 19 languages as well as tales of persecution of Falun Gong members.

Talk shows on the group’s New Tang Dynasty Television explore the recent escape of blind dissidentChen Guangcheng and a rumor that Premier Wen Jiabao might resign during the turmoil.

CNN made its name in the Gulf War. Al Jazeera in the ‘Arab Spring.’ The political changes in China this year will make us a top media player,” Samuel Zhou, a vice president of New Tang Dynasty, said this month in a conference room at the network’s New York headquarters. Viewership has increased at least fivefold in recent months, with at least 500,000 watching on the mainland, Zhou said.

Revenge is particularly sweet in the current political shake-up because Bo was a key figure in the persecution of Falun Gong members in China. The Falun Gong’s key nemesis, public security chief Zhou Yongkang, is also believed to be in political jeopardy as a result of his support for Bo. And almost every day an Epoch Times headline gloats about his decline. “Power taken from Chinese security czar Zhou Yongkang,” read one last weekend.

More objective, though not always more accurate, is Boxun. Founder Watson Meng was a tech-savvy Chinese student in the U.S. in the early 1990s when he started compiling articles about China published abroad for his friends back home to read. In 2000, he turned his hobby into a proper business, establishing Boxun in Durham, N.C., where he had settled after attending Duke University‘s business school.

“I don’t ally myself with any party or religion. Boxun carries voices from all groups,” the 47-year-old Meng said by telephone.

Although Meng doesn’t consider himself a dissident, his Boxun was the main site last year carrying anonymous calls for a “Jasmine Revolution” in China in sympathy with the Arab Spring revolts. The site has often been hit by cyber attacks originating in China, and Chinese contributors have gotten prison terms for posting articles on the site.

Boxun often re-posts articles that have appeared on Chinese microblog sites such as Sina Weibo and takes anonymous contributions without verifying the content. Many of its “exclusives” are questionable, such as the accusation that Bo plotted a 2002 plane crash and reports in March that Zhou and Bo had attempted a coup.

Meng acknowledges that the site doesn’t live up to professional journalistic standards: “Boxun has many things it needs to improve. We’d like to become more professional.”

Another site, Mingjing News, based in New York, is run by a professional journalist, Ho Pin, who worked for a Chinese government-run paper and left in disgust after the Tiananmen Square crackdown of 1989. He is nevertheless considered somewhat closer to the Chinese government; another news site he’d started earlier, Duowei, was sold to pro-Chinese government investors.

“We do not simply expose and criticize the Communist Party, but we try to provide points of views and opinions different from the official or mainstream media,” Ho said in an email.

The exile news sites have gotten so many scoops this year that some suspect that high-ranking officials in Beijing are leaking tidbits to smear Bo and his allies.

Even more staid journalists inside China acknowledge that the exile media are now essential reading, if often taken with a grain of salt.

Wu Si, the editor of a prominent Beijing magazine, Yanhuang Chunqiu, said his staff compiles a summary for each morning’s news meeting of what is on the outside news sites.

“We judge it by whether it fits the patterns of the Communist Party,” Wu said, “and whether it is plausible.”

Since the investigation of the Englishman’s death became public, Boxun, in particular, has become a darling of the British tabloids, which have re-reported the scandals with the same gusto with which they reveal the foibles of the royal family.

“Killed by cyanide over China love affair,” announced the Daily Mirror, attributing its story on the Heywood case to “respected Mandarin-language websites.”

barbara.demick@latimes.com

Demick also reported from New York.

 
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Posted by 于 2012年05月19日 in 时政

 

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