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China: Publishers pledge to fight censorship

6 November 2015

china_USpublishers

On 15 October 2015, twelve major US publishers have pledged to work together against Chinese censorship practices on works by foreign authors.

The pledge comes after findings from a PEN May 2015 report, ‘Censorship and Conscience,’ showing that upon translation, books by foreign authors were censored, often without the knowledge of its authors or publishers.

The report found that Chinese censors would cut parts of works that touched on sensitive historical events, such as the Great Famine and Tiananmen Square, or sensitive political issues, such as those surrounding Tibet or ethnic minorities.

According to the pledge, the publishers have deemed China to be an “important and emblematic case deserving particular attention” in their general aim to “bring common values to questions of free expression and censorship worldwide.”

Penguin Random House, Macmillan Publishers, W.W. Norton & Company, Grove Atlantic, and Hachette are some of the major publishers who have joined in this pledge.

China is quickly becoming an important and large market for publishers, which is second only to the US, The New York Times reported.

The pledge announcement was timed to coincide with the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world’s largest event in the publishing industry, as well as when the Publishers Association of China was admitted to the International Publishers Association.

 

 

Sources
» Publishers Weekly – 16 October 2015
PEN, U.S. Publishers Respond to Chinese Censorship

» The New York Times – 15 October 2015
American Publishers Take a Stand Against Censorship in China

 

Related information
» PEN America
Report: Censorship and Conscience: Foreign Authors and the Challenge of Chinese Censorship

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