The Biden administration is a breath of fresh air for the media, which were branded as the “enemy of the people” by the previous occupant of the White House.

The State Dept. forcefully took China to task last month for the harassment of the foreign media covering the deadly floods in Henan that killed scores of people and dealt a serious blow to Beijing’s propaganda machine.

The United States is deeply concerned with the increasingly harsh surveillance, harassment, and intimidation of U.S. and other foreign journalists in the People’s Republic of China, including foreign journalists covering the devastation and loss of life caused by recent floods in Henan,” Ned Price, State Dept. spokesperson said on July 29.

Price went on to say that while China’s government claims to welcome foreign media, its harsh rhetoric toward any news it perceives to be critical of its policies “has provoked negative public sentiment leading to tense, in-person confrontations and harassment, including online verbal abuse and death threats to journalists simply doing their jobs.”

China’s anti-press policies may have severe consequences. “We call on the PRC to act as a responsible nation hoping to welcome foreign media and the world for the upcoming Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Price warned.

A US downgrade of representation at the Chinese Olympics would be a massive blow to president Xi Jinping’s effort to burnish the PR image of China.

He/she is back… “Bartleby,” The Economist columnist who skewered PR in the July 3 issue, took a whack at business jargon in the July 31 number.

As they climb the corporate ladder, executives lose the ability to speak or write clearly. Rather than sticking to relevant information in a memo/statement (e.g, profits are up or down), they prefer to roll out grand statements about “team spirit or the corporate ethos” that have nothing to do with the subject at hand, according to Bartleby.

Jargon establishes their credentials or membership in the club. Since there are no exams or physical training required for management, executives use lingo to appear qualified to rule the roost. “In a sense, managers are acting rather like medieval priests, who conducted services in Latin rather than in the local language, adding to the mystical nature of the process.”

To Bartleby, the use of obscure language signals that the speaker is not thinking clearly, which is bad for business. “People who are in real command of details are able to explain things in a way that is easily understood.

“And if a manager’s colleagues understand the message, they are more likely to get the right things done. Jargon gets in the way.”

Bartleby is not the management type.