Følg pengene, lyder et af de gode råd i journalistik. Men det er svært at gøre for kinesiske journalister, for medierne må ikke rapportere frit om de højtstående ledere i partiet. I hvert fald ikke før, at partiet selv har besluttet at fjerne en person for korruption, for så begynder en smædekampagne mod personen, som Yiyi Lu skriver her på Wall Street Journal:
With Beijing now touting its devotion to “socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics” as part of its drive to clean up the Communist Party, it’s worth recalling a sharp commentary earlier this year by newspaper columnist Cao Lin that reflected on a key feature of news with Chinese characteristics: As soon as corrupt senior officials are brought down, Chinese media are often able to offer extensive information on their depravity and downfall, whereas previously one would be hard pressed to find even a shred of negatives new about them.
“Only the discipline inspection and supervision departments of the Party and the government can strike out at tigers,” Cao wrote (in Chinese), using Chinese President Xi Jinping’s catchword for high-ranking corrupt officials. “The media cannot confront tigers that are still alive. Only after the concerned departments have taken down the tigers, and they’ve become dead tigers, can the media attack the carcasses.”
The vivid stories flowing out of Shanxi are satisfying to a Chinese public that is weary of corruption, but the circumstances of their publication – always after the suspects have been placed under investigation by the party – highlight the limited role the media and the public play in rooting out corruption. For all its size and power, the party needs help policing its own.