Posted by: David Stewart | September 23, 2011

Let the Anti-American journalism begin

I’m here in China for a few days on a business trip, and I am again chuckling at how differently the news media from the US and China present reality.

There is but one common thread: we apparently don’t like each other very much.

Case in point: On Friday September 23 of this year, the China Daily was filled with editorials criticizing a US military sale to Taiwan. "There will be consequences!" rumbles the paper.

Then today, 24 hours later, nearly three fourths of the China Daily’s front page is concerned with news articles critical of the US:

  • The big story here (as I confirmed by many of my colleagues) is the retired NASA satellite which is supposed to crash to earth. This dominated the front page.
  • There was a large photo of the funeral of a former Afghan president who was assassinated.
  • There is also coverage of Palestine’s request for statehood to the UN, calling out "Washington’s dwindling influence in a region shaken by Arab uprisings and shifting alliances."
  • The only space on Page One which didn’t criticize the US in some way was a few inches below the fold devoted to Jackie Chan’s 100th movie, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the fall of Chinese imperial rule.

Buried inside yesterday’s China Daily was a lurid story of a former government official who enslaved six women in a home-made basement prison for sex.

But in the NY Times, the Palestinian issue is the only story in common. The sex slave story got picked up, but only because the Chinese reporter of the story was apparently detained because he wanted to report the story. I guess the local officials didn’t like such stories which criticize the city to get out.

The NY Times did however, have three articles in the World section today, critical in some way of the government: detaining 5 South Korean journalists, a rape case which didn’t get heard by the courts until it was covered for two months in a local newspaper, and the sex slave story.

I suspect though that the Chinese state doesn’t realize that people don’t read the newspapers in the US any more. It’s still a troubling trend.

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