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China's citizen journalists finding the mouse is mightier than the pen

12/04/2013 09:02

Days into his new mandate as Communist party chief and before his ratification as the new president of the People's Republic, Xi Jinping declared that one of his key concerns would be the fight against corruption "under the people's supervision". Neither the "tigers" (bigwig party leaders) or the "flies" (low-ranking cadres) would be spared.
Citizen journalists have taken the lead in tracking down corruption and posting their findings on the internet and on Weibo, the Chinese microblogging site. Zhou Lubao, 28, is an active cyber-investigator. When not tracking down corruption he is a household appliance sales rep in a coastal city of China.
Zhou became interested in the mayor of Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu province in the summer of 2012. At the time Zhou was protesting about the sentencing of Chen Pingfu, a Lanzhou blogger accused of "inciting subversion" – a serious charge in China. Chen was finally released in December in a rare victory for free speech. Trawling through the internet, Zhou observed that in official photographs the mayor could be seen wearing five different luxury watches.
Using a technique that had already led to the demotion of an official in Shaanxi, Zhou posted his discovery on Weibo and other online forums. The scandal was picked up by the media. The official Chinese news agency, Xinhua, even published an article entitled, "China's craze for online anti-corruption".

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/apr/16/china-anti-corruption-blogging-weibo-citizen-journalism

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