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China Extends Inner Censorship

Documentaries Have to Face Control

Quite hard to believe but the Chinese government obviously hasn't censored everything that smells of free speech in the past. Now, documentaries are the new target. Until recently, they weren't obligated to be submitted to the censor's office SARFT before they were shown publicly. Of course, there were strict criteria and censorship for non-fictional films but the classical short documentary that we know from TV wasn't affected.

Many TV stations didn't air material that was too critical but the main problem seems to lie with the many engaged filmmakers that take a camera and document China and show their products in universities or pubs and sell self-burned DVDs. Especially those seem to be the main target now. But it seems that international co-productions are affected, too. Is it an attempt to silence foreign journalists who often work together with Chinese colleagues by demanding that topics are told to authorities beforehand?

The things that are now forbidden for documentaries aren't new. Please no reports about social inequalities, no demands for a multiparty system, questioning the government and by God no comments on corruption. Furthermore, the country's history can only be mentioned in a way that fits the government's preferences and documentaries about murder, violence, evil ghosts, the devil and other fear scenarios should also be avoided.

Release: Mar 01, 2013 - Author: Imbor Ed - Translator: Mike Lowrey

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