[2008.05.22]Shooting the messenger 向报信者开炮


Shooting the messenger

May 22nd 2008 | BANGKOK
From The Economist print edition

The press fights back as two graft-busting reporters are arrested

THE leaders of Vietnam’s Communist Party say they are conducting a “no holds barred” crackdown on corruption in public life. They implore the country’s newspapers to sniff out and expose the fiddles of officials. In February the party chief, Nong Duc Manh, praised the press for unmasking graft and thereby fulfilling “the people’s desires”. The most notable case was a scandal at the transport ministry in 2006 in which newspapers revealed how officials had gambled around $750,000 of public money on the outcomes of football matches. In the clean-up that followed, the head of a road-building department at the ministry was jailed, along with seven others.
越共领导人声称他们“毫不留情”的打击公共政治中的腐败行为。他们请求报纸寻 找并披露官员的污点。2月份党的总书记农德孟对媒体揭露腐败的行为进行了表彰,称媒体实现了“人民群众的心愿”。最值得注意的是报纸在2006年披露的交 通部丑闻,官员们挪用75万美元公款赌球。在接下来的惩处中,公路建设部门的负责人和其他七名官员入狱。

But recent events have cast doubt on the sincerity of the leadership’s claim to be fighting corruption at all levels. The main charges against Nguyen Viet Tien, a former deputy transport minister, who was the highest-level official to be arrested over the scandal, have been dropped. More worrying still, the two leading investigative reporters who exposed the scandal have been arrested, along with two former policemen who were among their sources, on vague charges of “abuse of power” and publishing false information.
领导层称会打击各个层级的腐败,不论涉案官员的级别有多高。但是最近的事件使人们对 领导层的诚意产生了怀疑。因交通部丑闻被捕的最高级别官员是前交通部副部长Nguyen Viet Tien,对他的主要控告已被撤销。更令人担心的是,两位对丑闻进行调查并予以披露的主要记者和两位为他们提供消息的警察因含糊不清的控告被捕——前者是 报道错误消息,后者是滥用职权。

Vietnam’s news media, despite an appearance of diversity, remain tightly controlled: their editors have to be approved by the party and are called in for restrictive “guidance” on what they can report. In recent years they have nonetheless been allowed to publish an increasing amount of criticism of government policy—though it always falls short of questioning the party’s “right” to rule. The arrested reporters work for two newspapers, Thanh Nien and Tuoi Tre, that were especially fearless in exposing official corruption.
越南的新闻媒 体表面上有多样性,但仍受国家严格控制。编辑必须得到党的认可,对于能报道什么要接受严格的“指导”。虽然近些年来允许媒体更多的报道对政府政策的批评, 但通常到不了质疑党的统治合法性的地步。这两名被捕的记者分别供职于Thanh Nien和Tuoi Tre,这两家媒体在披露官员腐败时尤其大胆。

In an unprecedented show of defiance, both newspapers are standing by their reporters. Thanh Nien has run an editorial demanding: “Free the honest journalists.” It says it has been “swamped” with messages of support from the public and some National Assembly members. It challenges the authorities to explain why, if the offending articles had been so inaccurate, none of the police, prosecutors and the ministry of public security had got around to pointing out the errors at any time in the past two years.
两份报纸显示出前所未有的挑战姿态,他们与自己的记者站在一边。 Thanh Nien发表了一篇社论,题目是“释放诚实的记者”,并表示受到公众和一些国会议员“潮水般”的支持。他们向官方发出挑战,要求解释既然令人不快的报道 那么不准确,为什么在过去两年时间里警察,检举人和公安部长都没有抽出哪怕一点时间指出这些错误。

It remains unclear why the authorities have suddenly turned against the graft-busters. Were they getting too close to an even bigger scandal? Are party bosses trying to send a message that those above a certain level in the hierarchy are untouchable? Or could it be a visible symptom of strife between reformers and hardliners in the party hierarchy? “People feel that the journalists are maybe the pawns in some larger game but it’s not clear what that might be yet,” says Catherine McKinley, a media analyst in Hanoi.
至于官方为什么突然逮捕检举者仍不清楚。也许是记 者们触到了更大的丑闻;也许是党的领导们发出了信号——到达一定级别就是不可触及的;这还可能是党内高层改革派和强硬派斗争的冰山一角。河内的媒体分析员 Catherine McKinley说“人们感到记者只是巨大内幕中的一粒棋子,至于内幕是什么就无人知晓了。”

The Communist Party, like its Chinese counterpart, seems to have won the people’s grudging acceptance for having delivered impressively rapid economic development since ditching collectivism over 20 years ago. Now, however, it is battling against roaring inflation and an incipient balance-of-payments crisis. It may need to take unpopular but vital measures; and economic growth may have to be sacrificed temporarily to restore stability. So the party’s bosses will need the public’s forbearance. One good way to forfeit it is to victimise those who have spearheaded the fight against corruption.
20多年前越南共产党抛弃了集体主义,带来了快速的经济增 长,并以此勉强获得人民的支持,在这一点上越共与他们的中国同行一样。但是现在越共面临着严重的通货膨胀,收支平衡危机也渐露端倪。采取必要的措施难免会触犯众 怒,为了保持经济稳定可能不得不暂时牺牲增长速度,因此党的领导人们需要民众的忍耐。(在这种背景下越共需要媒体有所收敛)牺牲掉那些与腐败作斗争的急先 锋是个惩罚媒体的好法子。

译者:jason http://www.ecocn.org/forum/viewthread.php?tid=11581&page=1&extra=page%3D1#pid72069


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