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China: RSF offers online safety resource for journalists covering protests

As the Chinese people protest nationwide against the regime’s stringent zero-Covid policy, which has been used as a pretext for increased censorship and surveillance over the past three years. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) invites journalists on the ground to refer to the safety resources available on its website (training.rsf.org).

“China-based independent journalists and foreign correspondents are courageously reporting on the current demonstrations despite the increasing threat of detention and police brutality, and need all information and tools available to better protect themselves”, says Reporters Without Borders (RSF) East Asia Bureau head, Cédric Alviani. “The ability of China-based journalists to continue reporting is crucial to informing the Chinese and international public, and we hope the online resources we provide will contribute to their safety and minimise disruption to their work.” 

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) invites journalists reporting on the ground to refer to the website A Journalist’s Resource for Safe Reporting, available in both Chinese and English at training.rsf.org and also through a mirror link that circumvents Chinese internet censorship. This website, launched in March 2021 as an auxiliary for RSF’s capacity building programme, covers physical safety, digital security, mental health, and reporting best practices. It also includes the latest digital versions of the Safety Guide for Journalists published by RSF since 1992 in partnership with the Unesco.

On Sunday 27 November 2022, thousands of people gathered peacefully in major Chinese cities calling for the end of the government’s stringent zero-Covid policy, which has been used as a pretext by the regime to further increase censorship and surveillance over the past three years. The immediate repression of the protests resulted in the physical assault of numerous journalists by the police, and the arrest of at least two reporters including BBC’s correspondent Edward Lawrence.

Since taking on the mantle of leadership in 2012, Chinese leader Xi Jinping has placed both state and private media under closer control and has increased Internet censorship and surveillance to record levels.

China ranks 175th out of 180 in the 2022 RSF World Press Freedom Index and is the world’s largest captor of journalists with at least 110 detained, including 11 in Hong Kong.

Source: https://rsf.org/en/china-rsf-offers-online-safety-resource-journalists-covering-protests

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