The prosecution of a financial reporter in China for writing news reports based in part on hearsay is a sign of how deep the economic distress in China has become. Philip Wen writing at The Sydney Morning Herald:
Obviously, if reporters cannot report based on what people tell them, then there is no real news media. The shoot-the-messenger approach is something China has tried to stay away from in the last quarter century, so the fact that the central government is resorting to this tactic now is a sign of how desperate things are. The central government has to try to explain away an impending recession, a recession that the public and the world believes is impossible. This is an impossible task, so it will fire whatever shots it can, in any direction.