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News that The New York Times and other major U.S. news organizations have been targeted by Chinese hackers suspected to be affiliated with the country’s government has captivated U.S. media and foreign policy observers.
But back in China, TV news audiences have been left in the dark. CNN International’s coverage of the story was blacked out by Chinese censors when it aired Thursday night in China, a CNN spokeswoman said in confirming a report by the Huffington Post.
“Yes, our CNNI signal was blocked in China while we reported on the New York Times hacking story,” she said without commenting further.
The news network’s Hala Gorani conducted a six-minute interview on her show about the Times story, which said that the paper was hacked repeatedly for four months following an expose that ran on the Times‘ front page about the personal fortunes amassed by the family of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. The complete interview was blacked out in China.
Chinese censors are known for monitoring TV programs beaming into the country. Newscasts from Hong Kong, which can be seen in the neighboring Guangzhou province, frequently are censored with touristic sequences of beautiful landscapes in China and Hong Kong shown over items deemed politically incorrect. Among them are stories about the Dalai Lama, mainland Chinese dissidents and even pro-democracy politicians in Hong Kong.
CNN has been blocked in China in the past. In May, an Anderson Cooper report about a blind dissident repeatedly was censored.
Clarence Tsui contributed to this report.
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