Beijing: After showing signs of opening up, China's official media suffered a setback, with a TV anchor being forced off air during a live show after he criticised officials for corruption and a newspaper suspended from publication due to an alleged bribery scandal.
Jingzhou TV news host Cui Jianbin was forced off air during a live broadcast after he lambasted officials from national poverty county Fangxian for reportedly enjoying luxurious lifestyles without improving the people's lot or their own governance.
Cui was presenting a report on government officials who had built a luxury office building in Hubei's Fangxian county, an area eligible for state poverty relief.
After finishing the report, Cui began speaking freely, vehemently criticising "wasteful and corrupt" officials who spent extravagant amount of money despite the struggles of average citizens.
Cui's tirade was interrupted, presumably by a staff member off-screen, and after asking out loud if he could finish speaking, the anchor stormed off.
The video clip went viral in the Chinese media.
In the second incident, China suspended a newspaper's publication after two of its provincial chiefs extorted money from county officials and enterprises by threatening to expose their malpractices, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television said.
The Beijing-based West Times was ordered to suspend its operations after Ma Yuhua and Tian Hua - heads of its posts in the provinces of Gansu and Shanxi respectively - demanded 1.3 million yuan (USD 210,000) from the party chief, local officials and enterprises of Xiangfen County, Shanxi Province.
The two had allegedly threatened to expose the party chief's abuse of power in recruiting a young woman he met during a sightseeing tour, in addition to other officials' and enterprises' violations of law.