Remember Xi Jinping Thought, Or Else!

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryChinese journalists, as if they are not already under strict control in a country and under a system that thoroughly controls everyday life, must now endure another level of control I am sure they would prefer to do without (if they had any say in it). Now, they must take what is called the “Xi Jinping Thought” test. This test requires that journalists, both working for state and “private” news media institutions, must know and recite the views and teachings of current Chinese president for life Xi Jinping. This is only too reminiscent of the era of Mao Zedong, where Chinese were required to memorize Mao’s little red book of his quotations, but a step closer to giving Xi Jinping virtually unlimited power. But then, Xi Jinping is trying to elevate himself to Mao’s level of control over China.

Terrifyingly, Chinese journalists already must take what is known as a Marxist journalist ideals test to even receive press credentials. If they cannot pass, or are deemed politically incorrect, then they can kiss their careers goodbye. This does not even begin to tell the tale of how many Chinese journalists have been put in jail, made to disappear or find themselves in dead trouble with the authorities for trying to even begin to practice true journalism such as finding out the truth, getting the facts of a story, or questioning what the authorities may be doing. Here is a sad fact; China is ranked 177 out of 180 nations for having the worst standard for how it treats its journalists and how it treats journalism. Only North Korea, Eritrea and Syria do worse. Adding this level of control and repression simply makes things that much worse. For all the problems I may have in this country, journalism I can safely say is not one of them. I do not have to take a “Trump Thought” test, and I do not have to swear undying loyalty to the Democratic or Republican parties either. Getting at the truth is what journalism is about, and I am thankful I am living in a country where I can do this.

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