Chinese citizen journalist jailed after reporting on early pandemic outbreak in Wuhan

Zhang Zhan, a citizen journalist in China who reported from Wuhan during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been sentenced to four years in prison after being accused of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.”

Zhan has been on hunger strike since June and according to AFP News, China has punished 8 virus whistleblowers so far.

The NY Times reports that “in China, the news media is tightly controlled by the state. Some citizen journalists try to offer more independent reporting, which they post on the internet and social media platforms. But their work is often censored and they are routinely punished.

Ms. Zhang was fiercely critical of the government in her dispatches, asking why it had tried to silence whistle-blowers about the virus and questioning whether Wuhan’s lockdown had been enacted too harshly.”

in one of her videos, Zhan said “The government’s way of managing this city has just been intimidation and threats.”

“This is truly the tragedy of this country,” she added.