Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Banned in Beijing???

Nothing builds up your bona fides in the blogging world more than having a government enterprise consider you a potential adversary, and so we greet the thought that there are dedicated members of Chinese People's committee for blogging (if such a thing exists) contemplating our every word with more than a passing interest.

Or not...

Earle Gale, the former editor of the Daily News who has taken his craft to the emerging freedom of the Chinese journalism scene, recounts his efforts to track down the local reaction to his recent story on the Port of Prince Rupert, an item we outlined for our readers earlier this month.

In that recent article for the People's Daily online, which was re posted (and printed as it turns out in this era of electronic news gathering) in the USA edition, Gale focused on the growth of the Port of Prince Rupert and its potential impact on the Chinese and Asian transportation system.

It was a finely crafted article which interviewed a number of our local political class, (something one would imagine that would have found favour in official Chinese circles) featuring some colourful quotes "it is our destiny", and provided a fairly positive viewpoint of the Port and the future it could have in Asian trade.

So it was a bit surprising to learn of Gales efforts, unsuccessful as they were it seems, to view the article through the local portals of our humble effort Podunk and of the local social conversation site hackingthemainframe.

After a number of attempts of surfing to the two sites, our intrepid correspondent from afar continued to receive notices towards the theme that the "server is not available".

A not uncommon situation in the People's Republic, apparently for the good of public order.

Somehow we tend to agree with the thoughts of Mr. Gale that it's probably a technical issue at the root of his inability to access atowncalledpodunk or htmf and not some bureaucratic ban list. Surely there is no internal Chinese plot to keep those thirsting for the latest foibles of Podunk's City Hall, the current offerings from the Chamber of commerce or details on our vandalism sprees in the historic downtown area from staying in the loop.

Mr. Gale can rest assured he's not being banned on our end of the inter tubes, as we welcome all readers and contributors. Heck if the blogging committee overseer wishes to drop us a line, we're more than ready to correspond. However, we suspect it means we won't be seeking out a visa for travel to China any time soon, as we won't be making any house calls in the near term just to be on the safe side... (be your guest? uh let me get back to you!)

But hey, if it's banned we are, we'll wear it as our blogging badge of honour. We'll use this as our next defence whenever someone suggests that we have a leftist bent to our efforts, "but hey look we're banned in Beijing!".
We await our status next of Verbotten in Victoria, now there's a place where we suspect that politicians (at least some of them) may not like us...

The full article of Earl Gale's latest contributions from China can be found on the Northernview website, part of his continuing series of accounts from one of the worlds most interesting (if slightly authoritative) destinations...

No comments: