The Journalist and the Censor

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Eveline Chao has a fascinating longform article up at Foreign Policy about navigating government censorship while working at an English-language business magazine in China.

You can’t say “Tiananmen,” but “June 1989″ is all right. The headline “China’s ailing healthcare system—and the government’s plan to fix it” is unacceptable, but “The Chinese government’s plan to fix the ailing healthcare system” is fine. And you can’t illustrate the Chinese flag, for some reason.

Still, says Chao, “We knew we were lucky to have the censor that we did,” and her complicated relationship with the censor is the best part of the piece.


Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →