> Chongqing Jiangbei District Special
Letters and Blogs
(China Daily)
Updated: 2009-11-27 07:56

Protecting journalists

Le Qian, deputy editor-in-chief of Hebei Youth Daily, was attacked and badly injured near her residence last Saturday.

The news reminded me of the assembly on last Reporters Day when a group of Chinese journalists gathered in the conference room of Beijing Institute of Technology to discuss the protection of reporters' rights and interests.

In the past years, it has not been unusual for journalists to be attacked because they disclosed the dark side of society and thus "harmed" someone's interests. If you google the keyword "beaten reporter", you'll get 13,200,000 search results within a second.

On the one hand, journalists play an important role in reflecting social problems. On the other, they are the watchdogs on behalf of public opinion, especially given that China doesn't yet have a fully mature civil society.

As a result, it is necessary to develop a set of measures to protect them.

First, journalists should be entitled to the right of gathering material and covering news. Only by strengthening laws concerning reportage will people's right to know be guaranteed.

Second, the relevant administrative departments should take the responsibility of fighting against attacks on journalists. Reporters now fight for their rights mainly through non-governmental groups like the Journalists Association, which are too weak in front of dark forces. The General Administration of Press and Publication should take more measures to protect journalists.

Luo Zhao