Where, and why, the Economist is censored

An interesting read in the Economist detailing in which countries, why, and how many times the publication has been censored since January of 2009. India can't handle a map of Kashmir with borders it disputes; maps of Taiwan piss off China, Libya doesn't like anyone criticizing Khadafi. And the 2009 Christmas issue showing Adam and Eve was censored in five countries: "Malaysian officials covered up Eve's breasts. Pakistan objected to the depiction of Adam, which it said broke a prohibition on depicting Koranic figures." (via Jake Appelbaum)


  1. That’s funny, the only issue of The Economist I ever bought was the one with Eve’s breasts on the cover.

  2. Thanks, Xeni. I’m sort of a nerd when it comes to disputed borders. Google Earth is very careful to show disputed boundaries for all the territory China claims, for instance. And I was amused to see that the “I [HEART] Vietnam” tote-bag I picked up at a recent tradeshow was very deliberately stamped with the classic outline of Vietnam, of course, but also the hotly disputed Spratley Islands.

  3. I like The Economist. I can buy it at the airport and actually get a good two hours of global minded newsworthy reading on the plane. I used to try Time or Newsweek. . .not anymore. Maybe two worthy articles and fluff worth no more than 30 minutes of escapism.

    The want ads for Executive positions are fun to read: Exciting Opportunities in Nigeria for Power Sector Experts! CIO of UN Food and Agriculture with headquarters in Rome! Director General of the Joint Research Centre for the European Commission!

    Kinda makes me wish I stayed in school. . .alas, I preferred a different type of joint research.

  4. I happened to arrive in Indonesia a couple of days before the invasion of East Timor. (Which explained why customs in Kupang was so weird on the flight from Darwin to Bali.)
    Newsweek (only Newsweek seemed to be imported; never saw TIME) was aggressively censored. Offending articles (like any news about he war) was painted over with thick black ink, and then covered with white paper.
    So the only information available was how much coverage and how prominently the invasion was getting. A couple of pages toward the front of the magazine meant things were hot; a couple of column inches deeper in meant it had been a quiet week.
    So the censorship communicated everything except the fine detail . . .

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