China Takes Media Freedom and Shoves It

beijing-olympics-2008.jpgThe 2008 Olympics kick off in exactly one month and China — which was awarded the games in part because of its promises to relax its draconian policies on foreign media reporters — seems to be reverting back to its old ways.

According to a report issued yesterday by the Human Rights Watch, entitled “China’s Forbidden Zones, Shutting the Media out of Tibet and Other ‘Sensitive’ Stories,” (brought to our attention by BusinessWeek‘s fine article), the communist government is limiting journalist access throughout the country. The report argues that the Olympics committee is “trying to extort favorable coverage in exchange for accreditation to cover the Games.”

While we wouldn’t call the news a surprise — China banned The Huffington Post, after all — but does seem strange after what the rest of the world took to be excellent coverage of the devastating earthquake.