China: Bad News Or No News?

Bad News Or No News?

Reporter Lawrence MacDonald was just about to board a flight from Hong Kong to Peking when his editors at the Agence France-Presse news agency informed him he was in trouble. Chinese officials had charged MacDonald, 32, a Peking-based correspondent and U.S. citizen, with "activities incompatible with his status as a journalist." More specifically, MacDonald was charged with obtaining intelligence from a Tianjin University student. Although his accusers were unable to further specify his alleged crimes, he was expelled from the country.

MacDonald's colleagues in the Peking press corps claimed that his only offense was his detailed reporting of recent student demonstrations....