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NTDTV Awarded 'Ethnic Pulitzer' Prize
Kean Wong

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New Tang Dynasty Television was awarded an "Ethnic Pulitzer" prize at the first National Ethnic Media Awards hosted by New America Media at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC on Tuesday.

The event celebrated the outstanding achievements of ethnic minorities in the field of journalism.

Under the "Best Investigative/In-Depth" broadcast awards category, New Tang Dynasty Television producer and host Simone Gao took the honors with her program Hi-Tech Companies, The Chinese Government and the Internet .

In this in-depth report, Gao takes on on corporate giants such as Yahoo, Google, and Cisco, and challenges them in their role in helping the Chinese communist regime censor and monitor its own citizens.

"Under the Golden Shield Project, these companies have helped the Communist regime create a 'Great Internet Firewall of China'. It's a reincarnation of 1984's Big Brother ," said Gao. Earlier this year, Google launched, a version of its search engine created for people in China that censors search results. Yahoo caused a stir for giving the Chinese regime information that landed journalist Shi Ta a 10 year jail sentence, simply for emailing his overseas colleagues not to return to China during the June 4th anniversary period.

Gao says the blame can be spread around, "The American government does not have much control over these big companies' actions either". She says that many firms say trade and technology will bring freedom and human rights to China but this notion, without proper implementation is unrealistic.

"If you're doing business in China you violate some of your own principles at first just a little, but then it becomes more" she adds.

Companies say that they must respect local laws, Gao says, "but what if those laws violate human rights?"

Gao says she has experienced China's censorship methods first hand since before immigrating to the U.S. she worked at China Central Television, a state-owned enterprise where she says every program must go through various layers of red tape before being broadcast on air.

"Sometimes if a quote is not good enough, the producer would tell us to change the quote by using voice over", she remembers.

Gao is now the producer and host of Zooming In at New Tang Dynasty Television where she covers a wide range of topics.

"The focus is on problems in China and issues that the Chinese government won't report.

"So it's a real honor that we've been recognized for what we believe is pioneering work in bringing about a free flow of information to and from China."

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