Web Muckrakers Fight Corruption in China

Freelance journalists hired by citizens stay one step ahead of censors
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2007 2:38 PM CDT

(Newser) – A new breed of journalist is evolving out of China’s censored media: the web-based hired gun. The Washington Post reports on freelance muckrakers who investigate corruption the mainstream press can't touch and post the results on their sites. They're paid—if meagerly—by the aggrieved parties.

The reporters stay in business by steering clear of criticizing the government itself. "I am against corrupt officials," one tells the Post, "but I am not against the Communist Party." And by staying one step ahead of censors. If their sites are closed down, their stories are passed around by other bloggers, and new sites are quickly launched.