China’s media enables tyranny and corruption (CNN)
I can count myself lucky that when the Chinese secret police arrested me for reporting on worker strikes and branded me a spy, all they did was deport me. It was June 3, 2002, and I was filming a worker protest undercover for a PBS documentary. As I interviewed a laid-off worker, I was jumped by thugs, thrown into a van, driven to a black spot and held incommunicado for 48 hours.
Here’s what the Chinese secret police told me: I was reporting in China illegally to stir anti-China sentiment and deserved to be imprisoned for 20 years. Then they put me on a motorcade for the airport.
Looking back, I can now see that what saved me from the unchecked power of China’s secret police was their fear of the unfettered response of the American media — the world’s free speech defender of last resort.
China let me back into the country a year later in 2003, and today I’ve switched from being a rebellious journalist into a public educator tasked with helping China adopt Western creativity.
And after ten years of teaching students how to think in a country that has truly “fake news,” here’s what I learned: A free media is a democracy’s communal classroom, where citizens learn to use facts, evidence and logic to discuss and debate ideas. A free media is based on the liberating and empowering belief that the pursuit of universal truths is what unites and armors us against the arbitrariness of authority.
America’s free media is the source of American power and progress; China’s state-controlled media is what enables the corruption and tyranny that’s decaying the nation’s soul. Read more
Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer.
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