Not an internal matter

Censorship is not an internal matter

The coronavirus pandemic has provided new evidence of the relevance of the fight waged by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) for the free flow of news and information. In our globalized world, violations of this basic freedom are a matter for the entire international community, regardless of where they occur.


Without the censorship imposed by Beijing, the Chinese media would have informed the public about the seriousness of the epidemic much sooner, sparing thousands of lives and possibly avoiding the pandemic. Withholding information on the grounds of “not spreading panic” is unacceptable and aggravates problems instead of helping to solve them.


Conversely, Taiwan’s example shows that the flow of information at a time of crisis does not undermine effectiveness. By opting for transparency, the Taiwanese authorities succeeded in getting the public to comply with the public health measures they were recommending, and many think this has helped them to rein in the epidemic. Like the coronavirus, censorship knows no borders and can wreak havoc. News and information manipulation is a major obstacle to human progress. It restricts free will and destroys the ability to discern. By distorting the parameters of the debate, it inevitably leads to bad decisions which, in turn, must be covered up by new lies.


RSF calls on democratic countries to mobilize to rid the world of this anachronistic practice and to ensure that the post-coronavirus era is one in which information flows freely for the benefit of all. Only if we do this will humankind finally be able to resolve all the political, social and environmental challenges it is facing.


Chinese lies

As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the world, Beijing persists in trying to censor certain information related to the epidemic. The regime has received a great deal of criticism, both in China and abroad, for its opaque and bureaucratic handling of the coronavirus crisis.

Worse still, pursuing a policy concerted at the highest level of the Chinese government that aims to control international media coverage, its diplomats have attacked foreign media outlets with considerable virulence, accusing them of defaming China and lying about its role in the coronavirus pandemic. China is ranked 177th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index.




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Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges the regime to reverse its decision to expel 13 US foreign correspondents today and insists that independent reporting is, now more than ever, critical in the fight against the coronavirus.

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While there remains a risk of coronavirus contamination in Chinese prisons, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on Beijing to immediately release all detained journalists.

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March 25, 2020

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“If the Chinese press were free, the coronavirus might not be a pandemic,” argues RSF

March 24, 2020

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Chinese ambassador in France has no right to give lessons in coronavirus coverage

March 20, 2020

The secretary-general of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Christophe Deloire, is appalled by the criticism of the French media and their coronavirus coverage being voiced by the Chinese ambassador in France, Lu Shaye.

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RSF calls on China to stop cracking down on voices criticizing its coronavirus management

March 19, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads worldwide, the Beijing regime strives to silence critical voices calling into question the party-state’s management of the crisis.

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RSF urges China to rescind decision to expel New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post reporters

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Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on Beijing to reverse its decision to expel all American journalists working in China with The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

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Harassment of foreign reporters is becoming systematic in China

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RSF urges China to stop censoring information about coronavirus epidemic

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Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Chinese government to stop obstructing journalists covering the coronavirus epidemic and points out that only complete transparency will help to avoid the spread of rumours that exacerbate the crisis.

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RSF urges China to rescind decision to expel three WSJ reporters

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Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Chinese authorities to reverse their decision to expel three Wall Street Journal journalists based in Beijing because of an opinion piece the newspaper published about China’s handling of the coronavirus epidemic.

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