Lin Zhibo, who first came to widespread public attention when he angered many Chinese with his remarks dismissing the scale of the Great Famine of 1958-61, has once again found himself at the center of a heated debate.

This time, the issue is the role of the Communist Party in journalism schools. The uproar was caused by the announcement last month that Mr. Lin, an editor at People’s Daily, the party mouthpiece, based in the northernwestern province of Gansu, had been appointed dean of the journalism school at Lanzhou University.

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