China revokes three Wall Street Journal press cards over ‘Sick Man’ headline

A Wall Street Journal editorial published earlier this month has been decried by the Chinese government as ‘racially discriminatory’ and ‘sensational.’ (AFP)
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Updated 19 February 2020

China revokes three Wall Street Journal press cards over ‘Sick Man’ headline

  • Wall Street Journal op-ed had a ‘racially discriminatory’ and ‘sensational’ headline

China said Wednesday it has revoked the press credentials of three Wall Street Journal reporters over an editorial headline it deemed racist, with the newspaper adding they had been ordered to leave in five days.
The expulsion, one of its harshest moves against foreign media in recent years, came as Beijing also slammed Washington’s decision to tighten rules on Chinese state media organizations in the US, calling the move “unreasonable and unacceptable.”
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the Journal editorial — which was titled “China is the Real Sick Man of Asia” — had a “racially discriminatory” and “sensational” headline, and slammed the newspaper for not issuing an official apology.
“As such, China has decided that from today, the press cards of three Wall Street Journal reporters in Beijing will be revoked,” Geng told a press briefing.
The Journal reported that deputy bureau chief Josh Chin and reporter Chao Deng, both US nationals, as well as reporter Philip Wen, an Australian, had been ordered to leave the country in five days.
The editorial, written by Bard College professor Walter Russell Mead, also criticized the Chinese government’s initial response to the new coronavirus outbreak — calling the Wuhan city government at the virus epicenter “secretive and self-serving,” while dismissing national efforts as ineffective.
The February 3 piece “slandered the efforts of the Chinese government and the Chinese people to fight the epidemic,” said Geng.
The new coronavirus epidemic has killed over 2,000 people in China and infected more than 74,000, and has spread to at least two dozen countries around the world.


Mexican journalists protest over colleague’s murder

Maria Elena Ferral. (Social media)
Updated 01 April 2020

Mexican journalists protest over colleague’s murder

  • Ferral had many times complained of death threats and aggressions she suffered from local political figures

COATZACOALCOS, MEXICO: Journalists in Mexico’s eastern state of Veracruz protested on Tuesday against the murder of a reporter, demanding justice in a country that is notoriously dangerous for the press.
Maria Elena Ferral, a correspondent for the Diario de Xalapa daily newspaper, was shot by two assailants on motorbikes when getting into her car, local officials said on Monday.
Carrying banners and placards, journalists blocked a motorway, demanded justice and asked for police to use Ferral’s work as a starting point for their investigation.
Mexico is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for reporters, with more than 100 murdered since 2000.
This was the first such murder recorded in the country this year, though.
The Veracruz journalists network released a statement asking Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to “investigate the threats and background that she denounced previously.”
The local public prosecutor promised there would be “no impunity” for Ferral’s murderers.
Ferral had many times complained of death threats and aggressions she suffered from local political figures.
She worked in the Papantla mountainous area, around 300 kilometers from the port of Veracruz, known for the regular disappearance of people at the hands of the police.