Radio Free Asia‘s Mandarin Services broke the news earlier today of the removal of a high profile editor from the Southern Metropolis Daily. The removal of Jiang Yiping 江艺平 signals a more vigorous attempt to implement Hu Jintao’s new media policy. The actual content of the new policy is not at all clear. A closer analysis of changes in media reporting style, however, suggests that restricting commercially oriented media and replacing them with more responsive official media is a major part of this reform. This management reshuffle is generally regarded as a move to tighten government control over a newspaper that has repeatedly challenged the official censorship line.
Feng37 at Under Bridge Blogging suggests that Jiang Yiping’s removal is only the first step in a series of actions targeting six publications and 15 prominent media workers. Apart from the Southern Metropolis Daily, other publications on the blacklist are Southern Weekly, Southern Window and The Beijing News. It is believed that propaganda officials will move in next to axe content from digital media, such as Sina, NetEase and Yahoo. The Oral History page on the Phoenix TV site is also widely tipped as the next victim of censorship.