For a change, the media itself is in the spotlight these days. The scandal over the illegal hacking of mobile phone messages by journalists in Britain has resulted in the closure of a venerable newspaper, the News of the World, and threatens to implicate not just reporters but politicians and the police.

At the same time, the Chinese government has criticized unnamed "overseas media organizations" and said their reports that former President Jiang Zemin had died "are pure rumor."

British Prime Minister David Cameron has acknowledged that the hacking scandal is not just about some journalists on one newspaper; "it's also about the police" and about "how politics works and politicians too."