Chinese journalists bribed to keep mine disaster which killed 34 secret

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Mine officials in China paid journalists a total of $380,000 to cover up a disaster which killed 34 miners and a rescue worker, according to Chinese state media.

AP (via the New York Times) is reporting that one Chinese journalist has been sentenced to 16 years for helping cover up the disaster which happened shortly before the Beijing Olympics. More than 50 local officials and journalists face charges.

Incredibly, the story was apparently kept quiet for three months after the July 2008 explosion.

The explosion occurred during a national safety campaign, three weeks before the Games.

Journalist, Li Junqi, the Hebei bureau chief of Farmers’ Daily, is thought to be the first of 10 journalists sentenced.

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