After a decade as a reporter and producer for China Central Television, Wang Qinglei grew tired of the increasingly “stifling environment” for this country’s journalists and took to social media to say so.

Fired as a result, Wang then penned an extraordinary farewell letter. He lamented that journalists at the state broadcaster had been slowly turned from watchdogs into “manipulated clowns.” While CCTV has rapidly expanded, opening 70 bureaus around the globe, its domestic channel had gone from being respected to being mocked, Wang said.

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