(Clearwisdom.net) The term "socially vulnerable group" is often used to refer to groups of people that are relatively poor and have no political power. According to the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) own definition, "socially vulnerable groups" mainly include laid-off workers, those outside the CCP system, farmers who have gone to the cities to work, those who were inside the CCP system but have retired early, farmers of low income, and so on.

Reporters for the state-controlled media should have nothing in common with such "socially vulnerable groups, but that is not really the case. Recently, Qiu Mingwei, the former deputy chief of the "People's Forum" of the People's Daily--the main mouthpiece of the communist regime--fled the mainland for Hong Kong to avoid political persecution at the hands of the ruling regime. Qiu Mingwei told some stories about the internal goings-on at the People's Daily when he appeared on "Views of Well-Known Individuals Inside and Outside China," a program on the US-based Sound of Hope Radio Network. He revealed that, although the regime's reporters may be well off financially, they are actually a "socially vulnerable group" politically.

Mr. Qiu mentioned that, during the time of the Beijing Olympic Games, the newspaper was not allowed to print any negative reports. "How strict was this requirement? No one was allowed to know or investigate anything that would negatively reflect on the Games or the country. No mentioning or publishing of articles in this regard; that is, even if you did not intend to publish a story, you were still not allowed to go to investigate or to even take a look." To what absurd lengths did this go? Claiming that the public transportation system would be overtaxed, the officials "asked us to try not to go outside during the time of the Olympic Games."

During the Olympic Games, to put on a show for the international community, the regime specifically set up a "protest zone." (Of course, whether one's application to protest was approved or not was a different story.) Mr. Qiu said that the People's Daily issued a very strange directive to its employees: "No one was allowed to enter the protest zone. What did the directive say? It said that if anyone went there and was videotaped by the monitoring cameras, the newspaper would find out who that person was and that person would be fired." The communist regime also brainwashed its employees: "The work unit clearly required that we were not to have any contact with foreign reporters, saying that foreign reporters would set up traps and trick you."

Mr. Qiu also said that if one wanted to publish an investigative report, one often encountered interference from all sides. In a worst-case scenario, "[the persons under investigation] would directly call the reporter's boss, saying that the reporter had dared to investigate a particular incident and ordering the reporter's work unit to handle the situation, suspend the reporter, and even resort to other means, etc. That situation would not be optimistic."

The regime does not allow you to report what you want to report. Likewise, even if you do not want to report on something, the regime will force you to make a false report--"for the sake of the Party." When Jiang Zemin and his accomplices started the brutal persecution of Falun Gong, the state-controlled media's reporters became the vanguards in the effort to defame Falun Gong. Many reporters have said regarding their job security, "No lying, no job." No one knows how many sins these reporters have committed. One of the reporters made a false report about Yuan Yuge, a Falun Gong practitioner from Renqiu City in Hebei Province. Ms. Yuan accidentally fell as she rode a bicycle on a bridge over a river. The reporter turned the story into something like "To become divine, she jumped into the river with her son." Ms. Yuan later explained what really happened on the Minghui/Clearwisdom website. "After the incident, I talked to the reporter who wrote the story. I observed that it was simply not true and that he should follow the code of professional journalism." He replied, "The higher-ups gave me the assignment. I would not have gotten a bonus if I had not finished it."

This is an accurate description of what it is like to be a reporter for the communist regime's official media. These reporters do not have any freedom to interview and report, nor do they have freedom of speech to write, or even to maintain their own dignity. Many of them have betrayed their own consciences and assisted the regime in creating lies, deceiving people, and persecuting kind individuals, which could ruin their own futures. So aren't they also a "socially vulnerable group?"

In recent years, the Chinese people's awareness of the need to protect their rights has grown increasingly stronger. People from different walks of life have started to resist the communist party's tyranny. In the past, lawyers did not dare to defend Falun Gong in the courts because the regime discouraged them from doing so, depriving the lawyers of their basic rights. Now, more and more lawyers have dared to come forward to speak out on behalf of Falun Gong. They know that by doing this, they are also protecting their own basic human rights as lawyers.

The reporters for the regime's official media should stand up to protect their own rights. Mr. Qiu Mingwei, by openly declaring his withdrawal from the Communist Party, has set a good example.

September 4, 2009