A screenshot of New Express Daily's official website on Wednesday, October 23, 2013, where they published a front-page article on Wednesday condemning police for detaining one of the paper's reporters based on what the publication calls groundless accusations. [Photo: New Express Daily]
Related: Newspaper Makes Fun of Police for Detaining Reporter Without Proof
All-China Journalists Association (ACJA) has intervened in a Changsha chase where local police detained a reporter from the New Express Daily for writing what they claim is libelous content about Hunan Province-based engineering company, Zoomlion. The company claims the reporter's articles damaged its reputation.
A xinhuanet.com report says that (ACJA) steps into the matter amid growing public attention to the arrest after the New Express Daily published a satirical article admonishing police for arresting one of their reporters without any proof of wrongdoing.
New Express Daily reporter, Chen Yongzhou, was arrested by four policemen after a series of articles he wrote about Zoomlion's financial troubles and the company possibly possessing state assets ran in the newspaper.
Responding to the criticism, Changsha city police allege they have enough evidence proving that Chen fabricated facts to hurt the Changsha-based engineering company in the newspaper's 18 articles published over the past year, thus damaging Zoomlion's reputation.
Du Feng, assistant to the Chairman of Zoomlion, explained in an interview that Chen never communicated with them about related issues or interviewed any staff members. After reading the paper's reports, the company sent top management staff to the office of the New Express Daily twice to discuss the issue, but they failed to reach an agreement. Du Feng said that the groundless reports continued; so, they chose to report the case to the police.
The newspaper argued that Chen just did his job and his articles were objective. The only mistake fact-checkers could find is that he wrote "advertisement expenses are 513 million yuan," rather than "advertisement and business entertainment expenses are 513 million yuan."
However, the assistant to the Chairman of Zoomlion, Gao Hui, still rebuked Chen Yongzhou in his real-name microblog in an attempt to damage the reputation of the reporter and the New Express Daily, claimed the paper.