It might have seemed a good idea at the time. It might have been necessary. It might not have happened. But the recent furor alleging that Yahoo! outed a Chinese journalist has huge implications for media. Stephen Baker's piece on Blogspotting proffers the prophetic question of how much "information" companies like Yahoo! should pander to governments to gain market-entry, and what will happen when governments abuse the information tools arriving in their countries. As Yahoo! itself reports, the journalist in question was writing about press restrictions. Aside from the irony of a US-based information company snitching on a media pro, there is the repeating question of whether China is ready for Western media at all. What is the price of entering China? Corante's Bob Cauthorn speaks well of the dangers, "Despite recent appearances, being a media company is not a game for the cowardly or people with flexible ethics." Now if information takes an Orwellian twist if companies yield information for oppression, we should reassess the cost of doing business in the Chinese market.
posted by Steve Ennen