王克勤和中国调查报道的革命

Wang Keqin and China’s revolution in investigative journalism
Death threats from criminals and official wrath fail to silence zealous watchdog journalists

原文:http://goo.gl/y2Xe

Tania Branigan in Beijing

王克勤和中国调查记者的革命
——犯罪分子的死亡威胁和官方的暴怒无法组织热情的调查记者

王克勤在他北京的办公室

To the usual journalistic armoury (famously, ratlike cunning, a plausible manner and a little literary ability), Wang Keqin has added an extra element: the small, red-smudged, battered metal tin that he carries to each interview.

除了大多数新闻工作者都有的能力,例如像老鼠般的狡猾、能说会道的本事和一定的文学水平外,每次采访时,王克勤还多了一件额外的装备:一个小小的、沾满红色污迹的扁金属盒。

Inside is a sponge soaked in scarlet ink. Like a detective, the 45-year-old reporter compiles witness statements. Then he secures fingerprints at the bottom to confirm agreement.

盒子里是浸透了红色印油的海绵。像一个侦探一样,45岁的调查记者王克勤对比证词,然后他在每份证词的底部让人按上指印。

It is a mark of the thoroughness that has made him China’s best-known investigative journalist, breaking a string of stories that have earned him renown, but also death threats from criminals and wrath from officials.

他的一系列调查报道让他成为中国最知名的调查记者,一连串的爆炸性的新闻给他带来了名声,也给他带来了犯罪分子的死亡威胁和官方的震怒。

“The other side is usually much stronger. You have to make the evidence iron-cast,” he said, tapping the tin.

“通常对手非常强大,所有你必须做到铁证如山。”他边说边盖上印泥盒。

That is not always enough. Last week his boss was removed as the editor of China Economic Times following Wang’s report linking mishandled vaccines to the deaths and serious illnesses of children in Shaanxi province. Bao Yuehang has been shunted to a minor sister company. Shaanxi officials have claimed the report was wrong; Wang has reportedly said they did not investigate properly, although he declined to comment when contacted by the Guardian.

但这并不总是就能解决问题。上周,因为签发王克勤采写的山西毒疫苗造成大量无辜儿童死亡和致残的报道,中国经济时报主编包月阳被免职,调到另外一个小单位。山西官方宣布王克勤的报道不实,据传王克勤曾说过山西官方的调查有问题,尽管在卫报联系他的时候他拒绝就此事置评。

It is the latest case to highlight the zeal of China’s watchdog journalists – and the challenges facing them.

王克勤案是彰显中国调查记者热情的最新个案,同时也暴露了中国调查记者们面临的挑战。

Wang’s CV echoes the development China’s mainstream media: from life as a propagandist to a role as a watchdog – albeit one on a sturdy chain. He started his career as an official in western Gansu province in the mid-80s – “a very easy shortcut to wealth and status”, he observed, in an interview conducted before the vaccines controversy.

王克勤的简历反映了当代中国主流媒体的发展史:从一个官方宣传员到一名调查记者——尽管有严格的限制。他在80年代中期在中国西部的甘肃省开始他的官员生涯——在中国这是通往财富和地位的捷径,王克勤在毒疫苗案之前的一次采访中说。

He recalled the propaganda stories he used to churn out – “like accountants working under the leadership of the Communist party with a red heart” – and how he cobbled together articles for local media for a bit of extra cash. But as residents sought him out with their problems, he found his conscience stirring. “They enthusiastically welcomed me into their homes, told me their stories and looked at me with high expectations. As a 20-year-old it was the first time I was paid so much attention and I felt a great responsibility. I had to tell their story.”

王克勤回忆了他当年的官方宣传部门生涯,“你就像一个一颗红心的党领导下的会计员”——然后是如何拼凑一些文章发给本地媒体换取一点点的外块。但随着一些居民找到他,向他诉说自己的问题,王克勤的良心在颤抖。“他们热情的邀请我到他们家里,告诉我他们的问题,对我抱以极高的期望。作为一个20出头的小伙子我第一次感到这样被人关注,同时感到肩负着巨大的责任。我必须报道这些事情。”

By 2001 he was “China’s most expensive reporter”: not a reference to his salary or lifestyle – he still works from a small, dingy room in his paper’s nondescript offices in outer Beijing – but to the mammoth price put on his head for exposing illegal dealings in local financial markets. Soon afterwards another report enraged local officials and cost him his job.

2001年,王克勤已经成为中国身价最高的记者。这说的不是他的收入或者他的生活方式。那时他仍然还在北京郊区的又小又脏乱的办公室里办公,然他揭露本地金融市场非法交易的报道已经让他身价暴涨。很快他的另一篇牵涉到本地官员的报道就害的他失去了工作。

“I had problems with black society [gangs], and problems with red society [officials],” Wang said. “I heard there was a special investigation team, [with the target of] sending me to prison.”

“黑社会找我的麻烦,红社会(官方)也找我的麻烦。”王克勤说,“我听说有一个专门的调查组,任务就是把我送进监狱。”

Shunned by friends and former colleagues, he was saved by an extraordinary intervention. An internal report on his travails, written by an acquaintance at state news agency Xinhua, reached Zhu Rongji, then China’s premier, who stepped in to protect the journalist.

朋友、以前的同事都避开他,后来他在特殊干涉下才被保了下来。他的一个在新华社工作的熟人,写了一个关于王克勤问题的内部报告,这个报告最终送到了当时的总理朱镕基手上。朱镕基是保护新闻记者的。

That was in what many Chinese journalists see as a golden age, when an increasingly gutsy press began to root out scandals and abuses. But in 2004, the authorities responded with tough restrictions on media organisations reporting from areas where they are not based. Though the restrictions are widely ignored, journalists say they have allowed officials to impede investigations and stamp down on the burgeoning of watchdog reporting.

那是中国的新闻记者们的黄金时代,越来越多的新闻媒体敢于挖出丑闻和犯罪。但从2004年开始,中国当局严厉禁止新闻媒体报道辖外地的新闻事件。然而这一规定被新闻记者们大量无视。记者们认为官方在阻碍他们的调查,并且大量镇压调查记者。

Add Beijing’s drive to promote a “harmonious” image of China, and the increasing closeness of economic and political influence, and many are pessimistic. “Today, investigative reporting has become a ‘rare metal’; not only power but capital is oppressing it,” said Qian Gang, formerly managing editor of the progressive newspaper Southern Weekend and now at the University of Hong Kong’s China Media Project. Some argue that in recent years even state media have offered swifter, fuller coverage of breaking news and touched on more sensitive topics. But to David Bandurski, also of the project, that merely reflects the government’s strategy of actively guiding public thinking. “Control is moving behind the scenes,” he said. “In fact, there is less journalists can do than two or three years ago … On the face of it you can do these things, but practically you cannot.”

随着北京当局大力推行“和谐社会”的概念和经济与政治的联系越来越紧密,有些情况是悲观的。“在今天,调查报道已经成为“稀有金属”,不光是当权者,连资本也在打击它。”进步报纸【南方周末】的前主编钱刚说。钱刚现在香港大学做一个中国传媒项目。一些人争论的的是近年来,媒体,甚至是国有媒体都对新闻事件有了更快、更全面的报道,触及更敏感的话题。但同样在香港大学中国媒体项目的大卫·邦德尔斯基说,这只能说明政府在更主动的引导公众的思想。“你看到的表象后面还是控制,”大卫说,“事实上,现在能做这些报道的记者比两三年前还少……表面上你可以做这些事情,实际上你不能的。”

When the scandal of tainted baby milk broke in 2008, one frustrated editor blogged that his paper had known of the danger but been unable to expose it.

2008年毒奶粉丑闻披露以后,一个失望的主编在他的博客撰文说他之前的文章就曾经揭示过毒奶粉的危险,但并未能够爆出真相。

While Beijing sometimes encourages watchdog reporting, it still approved the cross-region rule, said Bandurski: “You can talk all you want about how local officials are the problem and central government wants to fight local corruption and be the good guy. Well, then send a very strong message.”

尽管北京有些时候会鼓励调查报道,但它仍然批准禁止跨区域采访的规则。邦德尔斯基说“你可以大书特书本地官员的问题和中央打击地方腐败的决心,这样事实上是在美化中央政府。这反映了一个强烈的信息”

Yet within these constraints, determined journalists fight for – and find – the space to work. “What decides whether you can do something is not what the law or policy says, but a whole set of other circumstances – who are you connected to; what someone says at a certain time that gives you cover to go after a certain story,” said Bandurski.

因为这些限制,果敢的调查记者们为了找到可以工作的空间而战。“规定哪些事情可以做哪些事情不可以做的,根本不是法律和政策,而完全是其他因素——看你跟谁有关系,发生了某新闻事件之后有没有某人发话保护你让你继续去调查,”邦德尔斯基说。

Younger reporters have grown up with role models such as Wang. And in a commercialised media sphere, competitive pressures create a real incentive to break edgy stories.

很多年轻的记者们学习着像王克勤这样的人成长起来。在一个媒体普遍商业化了的氛围中,竞争的压力创造了让记者们去挖掘更震撼的新闻的真正动机。

Li Datong, ousted as editor of Freezing Point magazine in 2006, said the media are able to do more, “not because the government loosened its control, but because the society as a whole is becoming more mature.” When earthquakes rocked Sichuan two years ago, and Qinghai last month, many editors ignored orders not to send reporters.

2006年被开除的【冰点】杂志主编李大同说,媒体其实可以做的更多,“不是因为政府放松了控制,而是我们的整个社会已经成熟了很多。”2008年汶川地震和上个月的青海地震,很多媒体的主编就不顾政府的禁令派出了记者。

The internet has also amplified the voice of the mainstream media. Many journalists use personal blogs to publish material censored from their reports.

互连网也放大了主流媒体的声音。很多记者于是利用个人博客来发表他们的报道中被审查掉的部分。

But journalists know that misjudging the opaque and shifting boundaries can damage or end careers, or their publications. And there are new challenges. Zhou Ze, a journalist-turned-lawyer who is tallying physical attacks and other pressure on the media, said a major concern was officials’ changing tactics to tackle critics.

但记者们知道不透明和边界的模糊会影响到甚至中止自己的职业生涯,或者自己的报道。这些是新的挑战。从记者转行做律师的周泽关注对新闻从业人员的暴力伤害和其他方式的打压,他说,他最担心的是政府改变处理批评的战术。

“In recent years bribery and blackmail accusations have increased,” he said. “When you say it’s defamation, people [ask] what was written in the story and whether it was true. If you say it’s bribery or blackmail, it paints the journalist in a very negative light – people assume they have lost their ethics and they won’t get public support.”

“近年来对贿赂和敲诈的指控增加了”他说“当你说这是造谣中伤,人们会问你报道里写的是什么,这些是实情么?如果你说这是贿赂或敲诈,这给记者的形象造成相当坏的影响——人们假定他失去了职业操守,因此他们就失去了公众的支持。”

Readers have good cause for suspicion. Corruption is rife; salaries are low and payment to attend press conferences the norm. Bungs to ensure favorable coverage or bury negative stories are common and have produced “fake journalists”, who threaten to report industrial accidents unless paid off.

读者们有相当充分的理由来质疑。腐败盛行、薪水微薄,出席新闻发布会有报酬。隐藏负面报道、确保只有正面报道的现象非常普遍,甚至衍生出“假记者”,专门去敲诈勒索工业事故的事主,给钱就不报道。

Wang condemns the blackmailers but fears the bigger problem is “fake news”: propaganda, political or commercial, in the guise of journalism.

王克勤谴责了敲诈者,但他更担心的是“假新闻”,即那些披着新闻报道外衣的党宣传、政治宣传和商业广告。

In a country where citizens have few ways of holding those with power to account, tough and reliable reporting is all the more essential. Wang has covered topics from land seizures to dangerous mines and the spread of HIV through blood transfusions. Zhou fears fewer reporters will dare to tackle such issues, and that the public will pay the price. “If reporters’ rights cannot be protected, the rights of ordinary citizens cannot be,” he said.

在一个公民面对强权的时候几乎没有什么救济渠道的国家,深入、可靠的报道就更显得尤为可贵。王克勤已经采写的调查报道从抢夺土地到矿难,从HIV的大规模流行到非法采血输血。

Press under pressure
近年来对媒体的打压

November 2009 Hu Shuli, the editor of influential business magazine Caijing, resigns over issues reportedly including its coverage of sensitive current affairs stories. She has since founded another publication, Caixin.

2009年11月,在中国影响甚大的商业杂志【财经】主编胡舒立,因为传闻报道当时的敏感事件而辞职。胡辞职后创办了另一个媒体【财新】

December 2009 The editor of Southern Weekend, one of China’s most influential newspapers, is demoted weeks after an exclusive interview with Barack Obama. The decision was said to be due to the anger of censors.
2009年12月,中国最有影响力的报纸之一南方周末的编辑因为报道了奥巴马专访而被降级。该处分据说是因为南周的报道激怒了审查者。

March 2010 Thirteen Chinese newspapers publish a rare joint editorial calling for reform and the eventual abolition of the household registration system. It was removed from websites and authorities reportedly issued stern warnings to the paper which initiated the project.

2010年3月,13家中国媒体联合共同刊发要求改革户口登记制度最终废止户口登记制度的社论。随后社论被政府要求从网站删除,领头的报社被当局严重警告。

May 2010 Bao Yueyang, chief editor and publisher of China Economic Times, is demoted to a smaller sister company after defending reporter Wang Keqin’s report linking wrongly stored vaccines to child deaths and sickness. The article caused a stir when it appeared but was quickly played down by other media outlets on censors’ instructions.

2010年5月,中国经济时报主编、发行人包月阳,因为保护王克勤关于山西毒疫苗造成儿童死亡、致残的报道,被贬到一个小公司。该报道发布后引起轰动,但迅速被其他由新闻审查机构控制的媒体的报道淹没。

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