The lastest blog news from China:
Finally released from Qincheng Prison, [Liu Di] has resumed her university studies. News articles revealed that her subversive cyber crimes, committed under the screen name, “Stainless Steel Mouse”, were mainly criticisms of renewed restrictions on Internet cafes, a plea for more freedom of expression on the Internet and – oh, yes – a satire of the Chinese Communist Party.
Liu, is only one of many new Chinese bloggers – one conservative estimate places the number at 300,000 – who are becoming high-profile symbols for democracy and free speech. (China’s reformist President Hu Jintao is believed to approve of, even support, websites that criticize and discredit anti-reformers and his rivals.)
And then this:
“In places with restricted press access, web logs have become an important reality check for the mainstream media, allowing ordinary citizens to help craft the news and keep traditional media sources accountable,” writes professor Lih of the Journalism and Media Studies Center at the University of Hong Kong.
Kinda puts the whole bloggers-with-press-credentials story in perspective.