Why the Foxconn hubbub? (A story about media ecology)
[ESWN comment: Why do the Chinese media and Internet users seem to want to see Foxconn dead? I cannot not help but go back to August 2006 when Foxconn sued a newspaper editor and a newspaper reporter for 10,000,000 yuan each on defamatory reporting. They did not sue the newspaper — they sued the individual media workers for huge sums of money which they don’t have and will never have. (The Unpublished FoxConn Story) “The FoxConn method of litigation was particularly vile. If they succeed with this, all reporters would live in fear of litigation about their reporting. This was a challenge to the entire field of journalism in China as well as the freedom of press. Therefore, the reaction of the field of journalism carries an instinct for self-preservation. FoxConn had used a similar method to prosecute Commercial Times reporter Joyce Kuang in Taiwan, but they retreated under pressure from the Journalist Association. From thereon, very few reporters in Taiwan dared to report on Foxconn and even fewer dare to criticize Foxconn.” A suicide cluster is a valid news story and therefore the Chinese media are using this occasion for payback time. That is one way to look at the media coverage at the moment.]
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