A New York-based news website created in March 2000, Boxun owes its success to the speed with which it covers sensitive stories in China. It has always used the citizen-journalism model but, despite limited resources, it puts a great deal of effort into verifying the information it receives, often from anonymous sources, in order to comply with the editorial rules and ethical standards observed by professional journalists worldwide. Any information sent to Boxun, any story posted on the site, can put the author or contributor in danger. After being identified by the Chinese authorities, some of its contributors have been arrested, beaten and even forced to make public confessions. Despite the dangers, Boxun has original content in Mandarin and English, articles by correspondents, bylined reports and analyses (some of them by well-known writers) and discussion forums. It also reproduces stories, blogs and information from Chinese-language media outlets in China. For those seeking independently-reported information about China, it is an essential source and one of the most influential websites.
Founded in December 2007 by a group of Tibetan journalists in exile in Dharamsala, in northern India, Tibet Post International (TPI) is a trilingual news website (English, Tibetan and Mandarin) that aims to promote democracy and free speech within the Tibetan community and to cover human rights violations in China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. In December 2012, TPI launched a bimonthly in English that is targeted at the Tibetan community in Dharamsala.
Nowadays, TPI is one of the leading sources of news about Tibet for both the international community and readers inside China, whose numbers have grown steadily although the Chinese authorities block access to the site.
With the help of its network of sources inside China, TPI covers censorship and suppression of freedom of information by the Chinese authorities and often has exclusives about Tibetans who try to inform the outside world about their situation and about police and army attempts to control the flow of information within the region or spy on the population.
Dhondup Wangchen and Jigme Gyatso, two Tibetan citizen-journalists who were arrested for shooting a documentary during the run-up to the Beijing Olympics, received active support from TPI from the time of their arrest in 2008 until Wangchen’s release in 2014.
Mingjing News is an independent and participative news website covering Chinese politics, business, social issues and history. It often has information that the Chinese government does not want disclosed and it allows its readers to post a great deal of content, including text reports, photos and video. Its revelations about the government’s secret investigation into politburo standing committee member Zhou Yongkang in 2014 were an example of it frequent sensitive reporting that triggers cyber-attacks on the site or other enhanced censorship measures.
The site is owned by Mirror Media, a Chinese media group that was launched in Canada in the 1990s and now has bureaux in the United States, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Ho Pin, the group’s founder and the site’s editor, has had a long career with Chinese media and is a well-known expert on politics in China. His books about Chinese politics, in which he criticizes political censorship, are banned in China. He publicly condemned journalist Gao Yu’s arrest when it was revealed in May 2014.