It will be interesting to see just how successful the World Association of Newspapers is in attempt to highlight the lack of press freedom in China ahead of the Olympic Games.
The group has launched a campaign that calls on editors and publishers to print a full-page advertisement that says China is currently detaining 30 journalists, plus as many as 50 “cyber-dissidents” and bloggers, for exposing the regime’s activities.
It is a tricky situation for many newspapers and journalists.
The “greatest show on earth” is always a big deal in terms of coverage.
But how do you reconcile the type of saturation reporting we’ve become used to at the Olympics with the tight restrictions imposed by the Chinese authorities? Indeed, do you let such a conundrum even enter your head with all the commercial opportunities and potential to boost circulation that the Olympics provides these days?
Then there is the issue of whether joining such a campaign will actually achieve anything, given the iron grip the Chinese government is already exerting in the run up to the Games.
Reporters Without Borders has been campaigning for quite some time to raise awareness about the abuses that go on in China on a daily basis.
A boycott of Beijing 2008 is unlikely and probably unworkable.
But it shouldn’t stop the media in general from making life as uncomfortable as possible for the Chinese authorities.