Thursday, December 9, 2010

News Blackout

New York Times
Chinese censors apparently began blocking the news Web sites of CNN, the BBC and the Norwegian broadcaster NRK from appearing in China on Thursday, a day before the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony is to be held in Oslo to honor Liu Xiaobo, the imprisoned dissident.


China has not said that it is intentionally blocking the news Web sites of the broadcasters, but Chinese censors regularly black out some portions of CNN and BBC television broadcasts when delicate political topics are covered. This happens even though CNN, BBC and other international television channels are largely limited to five-star hotels and luxury apartments that cater to foreigners.

In recent weeks, CNN and BBC television broadcasts have repeatedly gone dark in China during news segments about the Nobel Prize’s being awarded to Mr. Liu, only to reappear after the segment is completed.


Asked whether Chinese censors were blocking foreign Web sites that carried news about the Nobel award, Ms. Jiang said: “I am not aware of the problems you mentioned about those Web sites. But I can tell you that the Internet is open in China, and is regulated in accordance with law.”

A spokesman at CNN, a division of Time-Warner, confirmed that CNN’s Web site did appear to be blocked in China.

The British broadcaster BBC said on its own Web site that its news site was apparently being blocked in China.

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