The Foreign Correspondents' Club of China (FCCC) has released its annual report, revealing that foreign journalists working in China faced significant challenges in 2022. The report highlights strict COVID-19 controls, widespread harassment, and constant surveillance as the main issues faced by journalists. According to the report, almost half of foreign journalists in China were prevented from accessing certain areas or forced to leave due to supposed health and safety concerns, even though they posed "no health risk by China's own standards." These challenges raise serious concerns about the state of press freedom and media access in China.
According to the annual report released by the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China (FCCC), a significant number of foreign journalists working in China experienced issues with "health codes" on their smartphones, which prevented them from traveling at some point in 2022. The annual report by the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China (FCCC) sheds light on other issues, such as harassment of sources and pressure on Chinese colleagues.
According to the report, almost 40 percent of journalists surveyed said that at least one of their sources had faced negative consequences such as harassment, detention, or questioning after speaking to foreign media. Additionally, 45 percent of respondents reported similar official pressure on their Chinese colleagues.
These challenges, compounded by the tight COVID restrictions imposed by Chinese authorities for most of last year, have had a significant impact on the ability of journalists to report freely and independently. Although Beijing abruptly lifted some of the COVID restrictions in December, concerns about press freedom and access persist. The Foreign Correspondents' Club of China (FCCC) conducted the survey based on 102 of its 166 members, representing news organizations from 30 countries and regions.