BBC’s Interview

9:00 PM, my mobile rings. It was from +1915xxxxx, an American number. I picked up the phone and a girl with British tone asked if I am “Wang Jian Shuo”. Actually she called from London, a reporter for BBC. She asked about the China Blogger Conference which was just held this weekend. Questions were: “What is the aim of the conference and what is the key take-aways from the conference…” I answered with what I think is right.

Not surprisingly, she asked about censorship again. I have formed a formula that BBC interview = censorship question interview.

The Last Time

I was interviewed by BBC less than one month ago. The reporter (actually a good friend of my friend) arrived in Shanghai and discussed a lot of things during the interview with a big microphone. We talked lots of topics from blogging to the China society. I guess the interview continued for about half an hour. Within the interview, he asked about the censorship of blogging in China. I don’t want to comment on this since I have my own view on this. So I said: “I don’t want to comment on this”.

Several days later, the radio program was broadcasted to the world. It is a program around censorship. The only thing with my name in the radio was “No comment”. The program sounded like this (I don’t remember the exact terms though): Many bloggers faced the pressure of the censorship. Chinese blogger, Jian Shuo Wang even don’t want to talk about it. (Original recording): “What do you think of the censorship of the blogging world in China?” “I don’t want to comment on this”. (end of the recording). The program continued to anther person.

Dan Washburn, the experienced reporter from TIME told me, everything is “on the record” in western media. If you don’t want to say something, don’t mention it at all. It appears even “Not to mention” does express something.

Actually, I am not comfortable that my words were taken out of the context to support another view that I don’t agree.

Do You Want to Be on Air?

The organizer of the China Blogger Conference, Isaac Mao, also has the experience with BBC. Last time, when he was driving on the high way, BBC called and told him that it was LIVE broadcasting and want to interview him. He pulled his car over to the emergency lane and talked about some time. Isaac admitted that it was too rush for him. Obviously an live broadcasting from BBC was not a pleasant surprise:.

The reporter who called me asked whether I can speak on the LIVE program for BBC this evening London time. She was preparing the issue to be broadcast tonight at 6:45 AM London time. The topic will be the China Blogger Conference. I am pretty sure the topic will be around censorship again. I think the time is just too early for me. It is so easy to convert Greenwich Mean Time to Shanghai time, since one is GMT +0 and Shanghai is GMT +8. So I said I prefer to have a better sleep other than wake up at 4:00 AM in the morning. The other reason is, just as the previous interview, I was not 100% comfortable when I am approached with a pre-defined conclusion and my role is just to be an evidence to support the idea. That is neither interesting nor meaningful.

The Gap? The Communication?

The problem I see besides the two worlds are, there are too many pre-defined questions like censorship and BBC is trying to find piece of information, filter it and create an exciting picture for people in the “civilized” world. I do believe in two-way communication, that real life is seen by the world. As everyone can see, there is not much censorship on this blog and I can talk the topic I choose to talk about.

One of the topics on the China Blogger Conference was very interesting. It talked about eliminating the gap between two conflicting culture/countries/regions by sharing ideas with blogging. Bloggers in India and Pakistan already did it. Bloggers from China and Japan are doing so, based on what I heard. Bloggers from both sides of the Taiwan Strait are joining hand to analyze the gap of understanding. These may be better effort than BBC’s report.

Disclaimer: This is only based on the limited experience I had with BBC and may not reflect the reality. Keep in mind that misunderstanding happens all the time, from father and son, husband and wife, to people from two different cultures. I appreciate if someone can point out the reason of the misunderstanding I have (if it is).

Update November 10, 2005

Ops. I didn’t check out this post after the whole day and when I am back, I found a lot of people have gathered here. So welcome, everyone. Have a great day, or night or morning here (depending on where you are located).

I admit that I was misleading in my previous post. It is for sure that there is censorship in China. Everyone inside or ourside China sees it. The GFW is upgrading, sites are taken down, and blogging services are censoring some keywords, and I feel the pressure to talk on certain sensitive topics. To disagree on the way BBC reports does not mean I think there is no censorship in China.

Censorship is a tough topic to discuss. I have been reporting this issue since three years ago. I roughly counted that there should be tens of entries on this blog. I made a small note when blogbus and other BSP were taken down, when blogspot were banned, when one more sites were filtered and monitor the behavior of GFW. I found my first article on the censorship is in Sept 2002, when most people didn’t start blogging. According to that censorship law, my site has been an illegal site for three years. Spent 5 minutes on the archive page will see the discussion on this topic.

I found the most misleading sentence I used in this article is “there is not much censorship on this blog and I can talk the topic I choose to talk about.” What I meant was, there is difference between censorship and self-censorship. If you have enough courage, you can talk whatever we choose too without censorship (if you don’t host your blog in a local BSP). I proudly archived all my articles on the topics that are considered sensitive.

In the last three years, I was happy that I did spend effort to approach the truth, although it is very hard. To be true to myself is not always easy as it seemed to be. I have to face pressure from both inside or outside China.

For example, I started to report SARS independantly from Feb, 2003. In March and April, when all the media says there is no SARS, it was not easy to always stand up and report the panic people had no matter what was in the media. When I look back, I even didn’t believe the courage I had when I faced the inquiries from western media to stick to the truth. However, to critize the government does not ALWAYS mean to be closer to the truth. When strong and effective actions were taken and SARS were under control, and we didn’t feel the panic, the western media still reported all the bad things despite of the efforts people made, it is equally hard to say “Protecting China, Not only Against SARS” to fight back on the dishonest discussion in western media. I don’t think the attack I got is less than the attack I got when I spoke out the truth of SARS. In 2003, I learnt the way many media worked, and didn’t feel very comfortable when so many media warned people NOT to go to China as late as the end of 2003. I admit there are always confusion inside myself and sometime I even argue whether I am doing the right thing? My mind changed a lot in three years. What I can tell myself is, at least I tried harder than others to clarify the truth (which is not always possible for me to approach).

However, no matter what attack and pressure I got, I believe it is always right to be truthful to my heart and do not put anything that I personally don’t believe in this blog. This is the rule.

The reason I was not comfortable with the interview is not talking about censorship. The problem is, I don’t want to be put into a condition that there is a pre-set conclusion and my role is just to act as a victim in the story and confirm it. I felt happy that I didn’t accept the live broadcast. Although the reporter said it is only a program about the recent Chinese Blogging Conference, she started the program like this:

“Now in China, the great wall has been replaced by the great firewall. In cyber spaces, the Chinese government uses electronic firewalls to control information coming into another country. Cenorship is there. There are thousands of Internet police monitoring what you say and look at on the web. If they find something they don’t like, you could end up in prison.”

Then poor Yining was introduced to the program. Listen to the radio program again and imagine what you will feel. No wonder why Yining was also angry and wrote this on this blog after the interview:

“Rabiya, BBC, and all the big media:

Do NOT set the interviewees up, do NOT use the interviewees, do NOT manipulate them by cornerning them and directing them to the opinions you yourself want to present, so to fit into your own political agenda.

So if that’s what you are doing, sorry, there is no way I can cooperate.

Tonight, it’s not about censorship, but fair and professional reporting. Censorship is another game, we will play it another day.”

On this issue, I fully understand Yining and support what he said.

The other reason I don’t want to comment is, “to report the fact does not always mean to report the truth”. The agenda of discussion also matters. By setting up topics to discuss, the program is actaully filting a lot of things out. For example, when SARS happens, only reporting the facts like leaders from other countries are visiting (which is 100% true) , but ignoring SARS in the headline does not mean the local media is honest. It is the same in the BBC case. When I found I was put into a position that both “yes” or “no” answer are wrong answer, the only thing I can say is “no comment”. For example, if you ask “Do you have censorship in UK?” If you say “No censorship”, it is absolutely wrong. However, if you just say “Yes”, it also does not reflect the fact that it is not the whole thing of blogging in UK. Censorship is there, as everyone can see. However, when BBC claimed “Chinese Blogging Conference” is a conference to seek for freedom of speech, it is at least not complete. Even when so many people pointed my nose and say “coward”, I believe it is the right thing to say because I have no control of how my voice will appear in the program. Every single sentence or word may be taken out of the context to support something I have no idea yet. I have been put into this position several times in western media before. This time, I became smarter.

At least, the point is not about whether there IS censorship or not. The reality cannot be more clear. The point is, do NOT put other people’s words into my mouth. I will keep blogging about what I see, instead of 1 minute in a program under the agenda set by others.

Having said that, I admit I am not always right. I am clearly aware of it. That is the reason I trust two way communication. If there is anything wrong, tell me, and show me the fact. I want everyone to be aware that what I see, and what I hear is just a very limited part of the world. I see happiness in my life. I see people’s effort to make progress. I know many people in the same city see a different scene, and they also blog about it. That is the beauty of blogging – the wisdom of crowd is the most complete picture of the real world.

My favorate story is the “blind man and the elephant”. We are all the blind man. What I try to avoid is to touch a leg of the elephant but follow others to describe elephant’s ear. What I don’t see is what I don’t see. I don’t want to cheat. I appreciate diversified voices. I appreciate people’s tolerance to what I expressed in this blogging (for three years). Just as people have the right to talk about the dark side of the sociaty, I have the right to talk both bright side and the dark site (which I am not big fan of).

Well. Too much comment – the longest comment I had made on this blog. Again, I appreciate everyone’s point of view, and I feel sorry that my previous entry gave people the feeling that I was denying the existance of censorship. I didn’t mean it.

Thanks.

70 thoughts on “BBC’s Interview

  1. Hmm, i fear that you’ve done on this post what you accuses others of doing; having a lengthy exchange with a producer and then only reporting the question at the end. I should declare an interest; i’m the editor of the programme concerned (World Have Your Say) so i’m bound to be a bit defensive!

    We wanted to do a piece on the weekend bloggers conference; how did it go, what was discussed etc and it would be daft if we were to totally ignore the question of censorship but that was one element; not the whole thing.We have in the short life of this programme discussed censorship of blogs in Egypt,Syria and yes, the USA. It’s not like we save the question only for China. Anyway, have a listen and then have a go!

    All best….

    Mark Sandell.

  2. That’s why I liked blog. It provides the original view of a person.

    Not some reporter mixed everything up and distorted the facts by the way he/she presented it.

    The gap of understanding is very interesting and very important.

    sometimes language could be a barrier. For Chinese and Japanese example, the extremist on both sides, which have the biggest gap, don’t speak the counterpart’s language. How to translate and bridge the gap is a good question.

  3. If a reporter’s purpose is to get a quote on censorship, she should state that when asking for the interview. To disguise the purpose as a general discussion of the conference is dishonest.

    A recent episode of “This American Life” on the U.S. NPR (National Public Radio) explored the theme of people being asked to be interviewed or join a discussion panel under false pretenses. They only learn once the cameras and microphones are on what the true topic will be.

    WJS: When you are requested for the interview, you should not be too polite to ask directly: “Is the purpose of this interview to discuss censorship?” After that, if the report is isolated to censorship, you can be certain your trust has been exploited.

  4. Of course I only have the chance to listen/read a one-sided story … yours in this case… (not mean to be offensive, but it is reality)

    See, as a person who lives outside of China, where did I come to know about censorship in China? From Chinese bloggers who reported censorship !! Therefore I become interested, I become curious how the Chinese government is going to do that since it is to me virtually impossible to be 100% censored … bla, bla, bla. And then of course bloggers reported the case of Yahoo and the reporter in Hong Kong … and the case about Italian managers beating up workers, about …, about …

    I think the world become aware of many things, good or bad, via bloggers. Perhaps bloggers should not tell the world everything?

    Just my funny sense of seeing both worlds.

  5. jianshuo,

    many western media have a pre-set model to view china and choose their reporting topics. censorship is one of their favorites:

    see how ridiculous this piece of sh*t is:

    BEIJING (Reuters) – The deadly bird flu virus has dominated headlines around the world, but China’s own home-grown outbreaks remain largely taboo in the country’s state-controlled media.

    While China has been praised for prompt reporting to international agriculture and health organizations, its media has been mostly silent, showing limits to its transparency that could affect efforts to curb the disease.

    more at: http://blog.bcchinese.net/bingfeng/archive/2005/10/26/40133.aspx

  6. Why still cannot access blogspot from Shanghai, PRC through a network connection owned by China Telecom? It has been 2 and a half years.

    Maybe it should not be called as censorship?

  7. what’s really behind “I don’t want to comment on this”:

    possible cases:

    A. Have no thoughts about it at all. Sould not be Jianshuo’s case.

    B. Fear to be perceccuted in someway. Don’t want to get attention from Nationnal Securiti Agentt.

    If yes, how many percentage of percentage?? BBC may gave the impression of 90%, while Jianshuo may mean 1%

    C. Have comments but don’t know how to explain to general mass in a short statement. to avoid misunderstanding rather not to comment.

    Anything else?

  8. If Propaganda Department of CCP used your post as an evidence that the western medias want to uglify China, would you say that “It’s not my view” or write another post on your blog to protest Proaganda Department of CCP?

    In our everyday’s life, what we say and what we act do not only belong to ourselves. Someone closed to us will listen to us and share our happiness and worries. And someone who don’t care us also will quote from us for supporting their opinion, sometime their quotation is correct, sometime they distort our own view. So what? If you really care these distortions, you will have to quarrel with others everyday!

    Does BBC really hurt you? Or you just sense a dangerous that Propaganda Department of CCP will track BBC’s report to you and regard you as a unfriendly blogger in its list?

    That’s the point! We are living in the fears of watching of Big Brother. If not, in your event, as a common people who heard someone distorted your words, you would just smiled and said to your friends, “Do you know BBC is a idiot, he cannot understant my words. Could you believe he has graduate from the high school! Hahaha~”

  9. While I think that this post is the most clear statement on this position that I have heard, I think WJS’s opinion is only one side of the story.

    WJS and the rest of the Chinese webloggers see their world/internet as defined by the boundaries that the government has set for them. Of course, the economic boundaries are loosening so they are excited to expand into new territories (even territories that other countries don’t include in their laws, and that China is uniquely able to take advantage of). And when somebody mentions the walls, they see the walls far from where they were before, and get frustrated that the rest of the world is so focused on the limits when there is so much room to expand that didn’t exist before. “Take advantage, seize the day!” they say.

    As for the BBC and the rest of the world, they see the walls expanding too. But from their point of view the Chinese walls still enclose a much smaller space than their own laws, and they themselves are not participants in the new expansion because they are not living in China and because they are more blind–due to language and culture differences–to a lot of the growth and excitement that is going on there, socially, economically and politically. So from their point of view they can only wonder why the WJS, Isaac and the CN Bloggers are reluctant to talk about the limits being too small.

    Of course, the speed of expansion and consequences for criticizing the walls are also issues, issues that have two sides as well.

    To Mark Sandell: your program is called “World Have Your Say”, so I find it curious that you are reporting *your own* perspective on censorship in China. If the Chinese aren’t concerned about it that much, then why not let them say so? Granted your audience is British/international, but I say try challenging them a little…

  10. Maybe now WJS can offer up a viewpoint that can face up to his own feelings and at the same time be understood by the rest of the world the next time another western medium ask him to make a comment on blog censorship in mainland China, stick to your guns and be respected for whatever it is. In the “civilised world”, “no comment” is most of the time reserved for the person covered with a coat over his head rushing from the court house to board a taxi.

    Wise up and show them hell!

  11. I think you are right to be upset with the BBC – after a 30 minute interview they have taken one brief comment and used it to back up their own prearranged story angle – one you do not agree with. It sounds like editorialising.

  12. Mr. Wang Jianshuo:

    My suggestion would be, the next time you are asked about *censorship* in China, simply tell them that is doesn’t exist – at least seems to you, who had already censored ones self before speaking out.

    Or you can lecture the evil Westerners about the necessity of censorship in China. Anything goes, and each alternative will look less cowardly than ‘no comment’.

    With bloggers like you, who needs a censorship, anyways?

  13. If we say the media in China is mainly dominated by some certain authorities, then the western media are mostly influenced by some business bodies, at least that’s what I feel.

    From the news that I saw in Japan about ‘anti-Japan’ strike early this summer, there were too exaggerated rather than the fact.

    Obviously the power of media is getting stronger nowadays, we need a more sensible mind to generate the information we got.

  14. For those who can read in Chinese, the following blog piece reacting to Wang Jianshuo’s worths reading:

    http://www.labsys.cn/blog/?p=80

    Fortunately, most Chinese netizens I believe have no trouble to pinpoint the shamelessness on WJS’s part in his denial of the existence of censorship. Mr. Wang Jianshuo, you are so arrogant and self-indulgence, that you even think you are above truth? You are dead wrong.

    You are living in a 3rd world country without basic human rights to expression, and your blog says it all.

  15. jianshuo,

    don’t argue with bellevue and just ignore him, otherwise you will get a troll who could send you hate mails and malicious comments everyday

    he calls himself a “PRC passport holder” but calls chinese “chink” and “支那人”, that says everything

  16. Jianshuo, about the blogging censorship, just say :

    “There has been problems, but now things are better”.

    Nothing mentioned, nothing revealed !

    All will be happy, in east and west.

  17. Leben’s post (http://www.labsys.cn/blog/?p=80) wasn’t password-protected, until it has been referenced/trackballed for 3 times.

    It’s still cached:

    […] 自从在这里开了新的blog,谨遵不谈国事的标准。一来不想给自己带来麻烦,何况这blog的地方比较麻烦。二来也是自己很多想法都没有成形,不足以写下来,更不足以与高人论道。今天在Wozy的blog看了一篇文章,我惊讶于对于一个实际存在的事实为什么有很多人视为不见,甚至包括像Mr. Wang这种人。也许这就是即得利益阶层的体现,100年前,那些被称为异数的人远涉重洋取经,又回到中国大声疾呼民主自由。而100年后,也是这些人远涉重洋,不见8亿农民,只知北京上海。现在之中国真的那么美好吗?也许是我悲观,我看到的只有黑色中国。我喜欢Wozy引用的这个回复:The Peking Duck:”Not all Chinese bloggers are comfortable with the censorship and the blocking of keywords. Not all of them are apolitical and in awe of their government’s blinding successes.” 我没有说自己想说的话的权利,也没有挑战权威的勇气,但是我可以自己思考。 […]

    Leben doesn’t need to ask Mr. Wang if China has censoreship or not. He lives it.

  18. The problem with BBC on this case is not because that BBC is trying to address the issue of internet censorship in China. In my opinion, that is a meaningful topic to address. The problem is that BBC was not being honest with WJS. When BBC requested the interview with WJS, they didn’t say that was about censorship, instead about something else. Then they quoted one sentence out of 30 minutes interview as material in their program. It doesn’t matter whether WJS want to participate or comments on the program about censorship or not, his choice should always be respected.

  19. I support Mr. Wang on the BBC issue. No comment is the best answer to BBC and Western media.

    Most western media always have a pre-set attitude to Chinese respondants when they interview them. Why? Because China is not one of them! They will mislead you during the interview, and finally ask you about the sensitive issue such as censorship. They set up a trap before the interviewee can even realize. After (mis)leading the interview to the answer they want, they blow the report into an essay which is against Eastern culture value and praise Western value. The reporters do this all the time!

    Good Job, Mr Wang. You have my 100% support!

  20. Coolid, your response once again confirms that you, like Mr. Wang, came from a third world tyrannical regime, while you are trying your best to deny.

  21. jianshuo,

    i can’t agree with you that there is no censorships in china, but i totally understand your frustrations during and after the interview, and your complaint is even more valid after i find another interviewee aslo protested:

    http://www.zhangyining.net/weblog/blog_detail.html?item_id=275

    Rabiya, BBC, and all the big media:

    Do NOT set the interviewees up, do NOT use the interviewees, do NOT manipulate them by cornerning them and directing them to the opinions you yourself want to present, so to fit into your own political agenda.

    So if that’s what you are doing, sorry, there is no way I can cooperate.

    Tonight, it’s not about censorship, but fair and professional reporting. Censorship is another game, we will play it another day.

  22. Want to talk about ‘professional reporting’? Fine. The buttom line is, BBS is reporting in a professional and respectful way, while Mr. Wang did not in defending the government. His ‘no comment’ sounds weak and akin to a coward.

    If he sounds like a coward, acts like a coward, maybe he is one.

    In 100 years, BBC will still be there, at Bush House, London, reporting to the world. The brutal regime that Mr. Wang, bingfeng and others are defending, will be no more. And I’m sure BBC will get a chance to tell us the story of its final demise.

  23. My mama is a japonese, we are the best race in the world unlike the dog shit eating chink commies shitheads.

  24. 支那is only China, it is not the center of the earth like the 支那人 wants to believe.

    Kill all the chinkish 支那人, let the Japonese rule all China.

  25. Smear campaign? I can’t imagine Wang Jianshuo now can be so low to impersonate others and to make fake posts in his favor.

  26. IMHO, Mr.Wang created this misunderstanding by saying “I don’t want to comment on this” without furthur explaining why. This could well lead other people to interpret it as there is something which prevents you from making a comment. To express what you really want to say, you may phrase it as “I don’t want to comment on this, I’m really tired of being asked of this question”.

    More importantly, I don’t think there is anything wrong for BBC to focus their eyes on the cencorship. I believe both their producers and listeners are more than happy to hear that there is less cencorship in this nation.

  27. I like wjs’s blog but he really let me down this time. Here was an opportunity to show some spine. In English, refusing to comment implies you are hiding something or afraid to speak. Maybe wsj didn’t realize this. But he can’t blame the reporters for doing their jobs.

  28. Dear WJS,

    Thanks for your post on this. I’m the BBC radio reporter who put your words, “no comment” on the air. Thanks especially to you for agreeing to do the interview with me and answering all my questions. I learned a lot about blogging in China from our talk, and that helped inform my reporting even if I only used a short soundbite from that particular discussion.

    I put your “no comment” soundbite on the air for a couple reasons. One, it really struck me that someone who’s been so influential in the Chinese blogosphere had nothing to say about an issue that has long been controversial (especially, as you say, in the western news media). Also, the issue happened to be in the news that very same week we talked, with the release of the new online publishing rules in China. It would have been strange indeed for me to NOT ask you about censorship. Needless to say, my editors would have been pretty unhappy about that.

    Finally, my intention was not to quote you “out of context” or make you look bad. With that story, I was trying to tell my listeners about the tough spot that bloggers in China can find themselves in, with strict government regulations on one side and very high expectations from netizens (in China AND in the west) on the other side. As for western reporters always asking you about censorship,… point taken. I see how that must be annoying. In our buseinss, we should take care to look at all sides of this big developing story.

  29. BBC is nauty, choose to interview a businessman on sensitive topics.

    WJS is loyal to his business I have no complain.

  30. It’s rather interesting to read the story from BBC’s side. Apparently, they hadn’t anticipated that Mr. Wang Jianshuo would choose to chicken out, despite the possible unhappy suggestion of the deadly, highly contagious avian flu:)

    However, what the West is really facing off is a pandemic of fear: fear of losing business, fear of asserting one’s own rights, fear of standing up to a tyrannical regime, and finally, fear of even mear whispering out the truth. Let’s not miss this big picture, in which Mr. Wang is hardly the only victim; millions more are clinically ill nowadays, among them Westerners who seek fortune in this ‘last market’. Or is it?

    I hope and believe BBC will continue to do a great job to report all this fascinating development of human saga. I has good reason for my optimism: with BBC’s help, Mr. Wang Jianshuo has successfully added this infamous ‘no comment’ into his notoriety, and I’m sure his business interests will be carefully taken care of, by a well serviced regime. You see, it’s always possible to find a common ground.

  31. Ops. I didn’t check out this post after the whole day and when I am back, I found a lot of people have gathered here. So welcome, everyone. Have a great day, or night or morning here (depending on where you are located).

    I admit that I was misleading in my previous post. It is for sure that there is censorship in China. Everyone inside or ourside China sees it. The GFW is upgrading, sites are taken down, and blogging services are censoring some keywords, and I feel the pressure to talk on certain sensitive topics. The disagree on the way BBC reports does not mean I think there is no censorship in China.

    Censorship is a tough topic to discuss. I have been reporting this issue since three years ago. I roughly counted that there should be tens of entries on this blog. I made a small note when blogbus and other BSP were taken down, when blogspot were banned, when one more sites were filtered and monitor the behavior of GFW. I found my first article on the censorship is in Sept 2002, when most people didn’t start blogging. According to that censorship law, my site has been an illegal site for three years. Spent 5 minutes on the archive page will see the discussion on this topic.

    I found the most misleading sentence I used in this article is “there is not much censorship on this blog and I can talk the topic I choose to talk about.” What I meant was, there is difference between censorship and self-censorship. If you have enough courage, you can talk whatever we choose too without censorship (if you don’t host your blog in a local BSP. I proudly archived all my articles on the topics that are considered sensitive.

    In the last three years, I was happy that I did spend effort to approach the truth, although it is very hard. To be true to myself is not always easy as it seemed to be. I have to face pressure from both inside or outside China.

    For example, I started to report SARS independantly from Feb, 2003. In March and April, when all the media says there is no SARS, it was not easy to always stand up and report the panic people had no matter what was in the media. When I look back, I even didn’t believe the courage I had face the inquiries from western media to stick to the truth. However, to critize the government does not ALWAYS mean to be closer to the truth. When strong and effective actions were taken and SARS were under control, and we didn’t feel the panic, the western media still reported all the bad things despite of the efforts people made, it is equally hard to say “Protecting China, Not only Against SARS” to fight back on the dishonest discussion in western media. I don’t think the attack I got is less than the attack I got when I spoke out the truth of SARS. In 2003, I learnt the way many media worked, and didn’t feel very comfortable when so many media warned people NOT to go to China as late as the end of 2003. I admit there are always confusion inside myself and sometime I even argue wheter I am doing the right thing? My mind changed a lot in three years. What I can tell myself is, at least I tried harder than others to clarify the truth (which is not always possible for me to approach).

    However, no matter what attack and pressure I got, I believe it is always right to be truthful to my heart and do not put anything that I personally don’t believe in this blog. This is the rule.

    The reason I was not comfortable with the interview is not talking about censorship. The problem is, I don’t want to be put into a condition that there is a pre-set conclusion and my role is just to act as a victim in the story and confirm it. I felt happy that I didn’t accept the live broadcast. Although the reporter said it is only a program about the recent Chinese Blogging Conference, she started the program like this:

    “Now in China, the great wall has been replaced by the great firewall. In cyber spaces, the Chinese government uses electronic firewalls to control information coming into another country. Cenorship is there. There are thousands of Internet police monitoring what you say and look at on the web. If they find something they don’t like, you could end up in prison.”

    Then poor Yining was introduced to the program. Listen to the radio program again and imagine what you will feel. No wonder why Yining was also angry and wrote this on this blog:

    “Rabiya, BBC, and all the big media:

    Do NOT set the interviewees up, do NOT use the interviewees, do NOT manipulate them by cornerning them and directing them to the opinions you yourself want to present, so to fit into your own political agenda.

    So if that’s what you are doing, sorry, there is no way I can cooperate.

    Tonight, it’s not about censorship, but fair and professional reporting. Censorship is another game, we will play it another day.”

    On this issue, I fully understand Yining and support what he said.

    The other reason I don’t want to comment is, “to report the fact does not always mean to report the truth”. The agenda of discussion also matters. By setting up topics to discuss, the program is actaully filting a lot of things out. For example, when SARS happens, only reporting the facts like leaders from other countries are visiting (which is 100% true) , but ignoring SARS in the headline does not mean the local media is honest. It is the same in the BBC case. When I found I was put into a position that both “yes” or “no” answer are wrong answer, the only thing I can say is “no comment”. For example, if you ask “Do you have censorship in UK?” If you say “No censorship”, it is absolutely wrong. However, if you just say “Yes”, it also does not reflect the fact that it is not the whole thing of blogging in UK. Cenorship is there, as everyone can see. However, when BBC claimed “Chinese Blogging Conference” is a conference to seek for fr=eedom of speech, it is at least not complete. Even if so many people pointed my nose and say “coward”, I believe it is the right thing to say because I have no control at what I say. Every single sentence or word may be taken out of the context to support something I have no idea yet. I have been put into this position several times in western media before. This time, I became smarter.

    At least, the point is not about whether is censorship or not. The reality cannot be more clear. The point is, do NOT put other people’s words into my mouth. I will keep blogging about what I see, instead of 1 minute in a program.

    Having said that, I admit I am not always right. I am clearly aware of it. That is the reason I trust two way communication. If there is anything wrong, tell me, and show me the fact. I want everyone to be aware that what I see, and what I hear is just a very limited part of the world. I see happiness in my life. I see people’s effort to make progress. I know many people in the same city see a different scene, and they also blog about it. That is the beauty of blogging – the wisdom of crowd is the most complete picture of the real world.

    My favorate story is the “blind man and the elephant”. We are all the blind man. What I try to avoid is to touch a leg of the elephant but follow others to describe elephant’s ear. What I don’t see is what I don’t see. I don’t want to cheat. I appreciate diversified v-oices. I appreciate people’s tolerance to what I expressed in this blogging (for three years). Just as people have the right to talk about the dark side of the sociaty, I have the right to talk both bright side and the dark site (which I am not big fan of).

    Well. A lot comment – the longest comment I had made on this blog. Again, I appreciate everyone’s point of view, and I feel sorry that my previous entry gave people the feeling that I was denying the existance of censorship. I didn’t mean it.

    Thanks.

  32. WJS says: “Just for example, if you ask “Do you have censorship in America?” If you say “No censorship”, it is absolutely wrong.”

    Why it’s wrong? Can you give me an example of government sanctioned censorship over blogs – forget MPAA ratings – in America?

  33. “Now in China, the great wall has been replaced by the great firewall. In cyber spaces, the Chinese government uses electronic firewalls to control information coming into another country. Censorship is there. There are thousands of Internet police monitoring what you say and look at on the web. If they find something they don’t like, you could end up in prison. Still, China held its first blogger conference this weekend in Shanghai.”

    Every and each bit of the above is true and correct. How can you dispute the fact?

  34. would somebody please direct me to the content of the coverage made by BBC as I cannot find the same from BBC web.

  35. WJS said: “The point is, do NOT put your words into my mouth, or do not use my mouth to say your words.”

    Who put their words into your mouth? Are you saying that you didn’t even say – ‘no comment’? As far as I know they didn’t attribute other words to you. Why do you suggest that they are doing something they aren’t?

  36. stephen, Nick, the other person attended the interview posted the audio here on his blog: http://n.n1nj4.de/roller/page/n1 (should be the first link, but I cannot understand German). The source of the audio is at http://interviews.n1nj4.de/bbc.world.service.20051106.chinese.blogging.conference.mp3

    Bell, thanks for posting here to let people know the other side of the story. I enjoyed most of the conversation, but I do feel strange that my other point-of-view were cut and only got this. Actually, it is not anyone’s fault. The time of the program is short, and you or the editor choosed the “most interesting” part. Thanks for understanding that this is almost the only topic western media are interested to discuss with me.

    To “wjs’s sister”, (hmmm, not sure who this is), if it is a live broadcast, I don’t think I would say so. However, it is just one sentence over a long conversation. When we look back, we have 100+ reasons that we give different answer. To be honest, I don’t think there is an opportunity to clarify anything at that moment.

    Mike, I choose C in your questions.

    mark sandell, thanks for joining the discussion.

  37. WJS said: “Just for example, if you ask “Do you have censorship in America?” If you say “No censorship”, it is absolutely wrong.”

    Why do you think there is censorship in America againt bloggers? Do you have any proof? If no, are you making things up? Why do you want to misleading readers, and why do you think you can get away with your lies? What makes you believe so, from your experience in China?

  38. The audio link WJS provides above was basically BBC’s interview with Yining and Nick. I didn’t hear anything related to the not-commenting, elusive WJS.

  39. Bingfeng has pointed out correctly, bellevue is a troll. The right way to deal with a troll is to ignore him, or her.

  40. WJS said: “Just for example, if you ask “Do you have censorship in America?” If you say “No censorship”, it is absolutely wrong.”

    Once again, why do you think there is censorship in America againt bloggers? Do you have any proof?

    Continuing dodging this serious question can be construed as no evidence at all. But how can you not? (Hint: didn’t you have a Microsoft internal memo guiding you how to blog?)

    If you refuse to answer, your job of painting a smiling human face on top of China’s brutal regime won’t get any easier in the future. Consider yourself be warned.

  41. “Bingfeng has pointed out correctly, bellevue is a troll. The right way to deal with a troll is to ignore him, or her.”

    Right, and pretend it’s not there! Babies!

  42. “Bingfeng has pointed out correctly, bellevue is a troll. The right way to deal with a troll is to ignore him, or her.”

    Right, and pretend it’s not there! Babies!

    Posted by: solopolo on November 11, 2005 03:52 PM

    —————————

    he is there, solopolo.

    but how can you argue with a person who will send you 40 hate mails and stinky comments per day?

    it’s so funny that someone will cheer a troll like bellevue just because they share the same opinions.

    anyway, it’s your choice.

  43. Best way to fight against troll is not to feed it. If you do trolls are sure coming more ferocious on you.

  44. it’s really nobody’s business what wjs’ stance is on censorship in china, but blaming the reporter that interviewed him for setting him up because he really did not want say anything about it, I mean guys, you cannot be thinking the reporter is an intern or a rookie ? when you blog there is only one standard, the world standard and if you cannot cut it, I guess the best is still only provincial. being the intelligent person that he is , surely wjs will learn the lesson and plays smarter.

  45. suppose you are the coach of a football team, and your team just let in a goal, what/who do think is responsible :

    1) the defense (including the goaltender for inferior skills)

    2) the referees (for not calling a foul)

    3) the spectators (for not supporting your team)

    4) the other team’s offense (for tricking the referees and your defense)

    5) yourself (for poor coaching)

    or

    6) it’s just one goal, keep the fighting spirits up and win back the match.

  46. Compared to BBC, I think Fox news is more authentic; at least Fox admits its right-wing position and let people to defensively judge its report. BBC is a totalitarian station which tries to monopolize the opinions by its anglo-american positivist tone.

    BBC offers an alternative, but not truth. You can never find truth in any news outlet, BBC, CNN, CCTV, FOX, they are either for-profit or for-bureaucracy. The tragedy of BBC is that it is ignorant about its bias.

  47. Without getting in between some of the cross-fire, it is true that there is nothing like the kind of direct censorship of the internet and media that can be found in the PRC, in either the UK or US. Sure media groups have their own POVs or interests, but that’s the nature of the beast- and at least the variety of opinions makes up for that in some respects. However the internet or bloggers aren’t restricted very much at all.

    If I had a blog, I could incite my fellow countrymen to protest out Downing Street about Blair’s policies on anything – and neither would my blog be censored, nor would I punished in any way. If I did that in the PRC against Hu Jintao, my blog would be censored and I’d probably be arrested after a while. The British media can attack his policies without any retaliation – if a Chinese newspaper did to the CCP, it would be closed down.

    The BBC does an important job in trying to report on a wide range of issues, in a manner that the “common person” can understand and to challenge a government that has had little political opposition to its policies. It also has a good international reputation, so I think that you shouldn’t be so hard on it because of a few experiences you’ve had. When one of my Chinese friends studied over here, she used to watch the news all of the time because she found the style liberating. Now that she’s moved back she says she doesn’t watch Chinese news anymore, because she realises how biased and boring it really is.

  48. hey wang:

    what a miracle to be able to send messages around the world. Why can’t we look at life in a simplistic way? Take what we have together for what it is; a sharing of ideas.

  49. So… can you see from China the url

    http://nojagsneil.blogspot.com ?

    Can you see the statement “Long Live Democracy in China!”

    Does this comment get posted?

    If the answer to any of the above is “no”, then I think the BBC are correct to raise Chinese censorship as an issue. You should also not lose sight of the fact that the first duty of the BBC is to report the facts to *me*, a British citizen. If they feel that it is an important issue then they must report that issue to *me*. And they are right, it *is* an important issue; we need to know what things are like in China before we decide whether or not to do business with you.

  50. “Rabiya, BBC, and all the big media:

    Do NOT set the interviewees up, do NOT use the interviewees, do NOT manipulate them by cornerning them and directing them to the opinions you yourself want to present, so to fit into your own political agenda.

    So if that’s what you are doing, sorry, there is no way I can cooperate.

    Tonight, it’s not about censorship, but fair and professional reporting. Censorship is another game, we will play it another day.”

    On this issue, I fully understand Yining and support what he said.”

    For an example of manipulating interviewees and “directing them to …opinions…to fit your own political agenda” watch “Dialogue” on CCTV9. Fortunately for my hypertension measurement (my original term , the common name for the level of pressure in the vascular system, was deemed questionable!!), CCTV9 no longer seems to be available here.

  51. Gentlemen: blogspot.com is blocked in China.

    Of course, BBC is guilty manipulating Mr. Wangjianshuo to say the obvious.

  52. Excellent! I enjoyed reading your material. Superb Corner Play or not: http://allafrica.com/ , Fetch Make Increase – that is all that Cards is capable of when Round is Gnome it will Roll Corner , Collective Chair Win or not when Soldier Hope Girl Anticipate

  53. Why not speak out, Mr. Wang? Tell the interviewers what you think directly and make a rational explanation. YES!!! The west is somewhat misunderstanding China but this cannot be the reason to have “no comment”. LET them KNOW! DON’T HIDE truths(most of the time,it is only what we see and what we think) or AVIOD talking about their favorates like censorship stuff. On the other hand, I have to say Chinese government should do something and be “one of them(the west)”. Why not?If the people want.

  54. Comments. Just to post a clarification I noted in the thread below — The Taylor Law

    … Post a comment. Name: Email Address: URL: Comments:. Remember info?

  55. Bellevue, there is no point arguing with or against you on any issue. You try to bypass the issue with nitpicks and personal attacks.

    On the topic of censorship & BBC, BBC regularly deletes comments in their online discussions that do not agree with their views. In fully moderated discussions, comments do not appear at all. Perhaps these “Have Your Says” should be renamed “have your say should you agree with us”

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