Nice NYT story on Chinese blogger who "thrives as muckracker." Odd choice of wording there. Self-professed citizen journalist in early 40s is being tolerated for now, as his "freelance campaign against graft has earned him pop-star acclaim and send a chill through Chinese officialdom."
Sounds like a fine line. I mean, once you start going on the BBC with your stories, you take your life into your hands.
One of his latest tricks is posting sex videos of high bureaucrats having at it with young prostitutes. He also says things like, "I'm fighting a war. Even if they beat me to death, I won't give up my sources or the videos."
A local Beijing journalism academic says, "Here on Chinese soil, it's almost impossible for citizen journalists like him to survive long term."
But if you want the self-regenerative progressivism to take hold, you have to tolerate these types. Otherwise bad stuff continues to be swept under rugs. Problem is, of course, showing the crimes of the single party leads to that single party's legitimacy being further diminished.
The CCP in China has typically operated along the lines of, it's okay to unmask mid-level officials but not truly high ones (like the NYT did recently, triggering the Chinese hacking attacks). But people know that, if mid-level types are routinely engaging in mischief, it's because the higher-ups tolerate it as lesser versions of their own evil.
So the fine line continues. The blogger recently got a flattering Xinhua treatment, and yet gov censors constantly remove his micro-blog pieces almost the minute they appear.
Again, ultimately Beijing needs to allow this sort of positive self-renewal. It's a sign of the maturation of Chinese society in response to all the positive socio-economic churn.
You either trust the people or you don't, and the CCP's problem is that, it most definitely does not trust its own people.
No question where things are headed. Anyone who thinks the future is less transparency and less public accountability is kidding themselves.