|Banished producer paints picture of CCTV as state tool of smear
A producer who says he was sacked by state broadcaster CCTV has voiced rare and blunt criticism of government censorship, saying the television company receives up to 1,000 propaganda directives a year.
Veteran television producer Wang Qinglei said he was fired by China Central Television for publicly criticizing its coverage of Chinese-American investor and high-profile blogger Charles Xue, who was arrested on charges of soliciting prostitutes.
CCTV showed him in prison clothes, confessing that he had used microblogging to “gratify my vanity'' – although state-run media insisted his arrest had no connection with his online commentary.
Wang responded to his dismissal with a lengthy letter lambasting the official and management control that journalists work under in China.
“We receive up to 1,000 news orders annually,'' he said, asking: “How many were issued in the national interest, and how many were issued to serve the political and economic interests of an individual, group or leader?''
He strongly condemned the wide-ranging official crackdown on outspoken bloggers and CCTV's role reporting it.
“We used the public institution of media to attack a person's private life,'' he said in the letter, which was posted Sunday on his verified page on Sina Weibo, and deleted by official censors Monday.
“Journalistic integrity and professionalism are long gone,'' continued the letter, which could still be found circulating online today.
Wang is no stranger to controversy, and was disciplined in 2011 after he posted on his blog searching questions about the Wenzhou train crash, in which at least 40 people were killed and almost 200 injured.