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Former People’s Daily Deputy Chief Editor Criticizes Media Control

As a commentary on February 2, Hong Kong Phoenix published some quotes from the book Huangpuping: Where Should China’s Reform Head? The book’s author is Zhou Ruijin. Zhou wrote a series of commentaries on continuing the opening up and reform in order to promote Deng Xiaoping’s reform in the 1990s. He used the pen name "Huangpuping" (皇甫平). "Huangpuping" in Chinese is a homonym for "commentary from Shanghai." He was later promoted to Deputy Chief Editor of People’s Daily.

The Phoenix article criticized the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) propaganda work. "There are now some (bad) signs in our ideology work. We need to watch out for being "right" [too liberal], but most importantly, we should prevent being "left" [too rigid in Communist ideology]."

"We suggest ‘no debate’ in the field of ideology." "Protecting netizens’ rights to freedom of expression will, for sure, help our next round of development."

"Some cadres in the Party’s propaganda management department manage media as if they are managing a timetable for trains. They implant the administrative management approach into media management, directly intervening in the form and process of news reporting."

"During society’s transformation period, it is normal that there are different opinions and discussions in the field of ideology. We can only guide them, but not suppress them. Citizen’s freedom of speech, as defined by the Constitution, should be protected. The era of uniformity in media reporting is gone."

Source: Phoenix Online, February 2, 2016