Archive for January 15th, 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Voice of Germany Chinese Department in Translation

After Zhang Danhong had lost her position as the Voice of Germany (Deutsche Welle) Chinese Department’s deputy manager earlier, Matthias von Hein, head of the department, was removed in December, according to the German Journalists’ Association (a labor union’s) website. More information on the case of Zhang Danhong is here.

From Germany with Love

Net Nanny: From Germany with Love

She remained a member of the department, but has got into another controversy since after interviewing herself on the Voice of Germany’s website, reports the Frankfurter Rundschau. That’s to say, an intern took the role of asking the questions previously written by Ms Zhang herself, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

The Frankfurter Rundschau quotes the Deutschlandfunk, one of Germany’s two nationwide radio stations, as saying that original reports in German had been sugarcoated in Beijing’s favor when translated into Chinese. Allegedly, Tibetan protests became violent riots, and protesters became separatists in Chinese.

The Voice of Germany’s general manager, Erik Bettermann, dismissed blanket condemnations, but said that some reflection on the journalistic quality of the Chinese Department’s work was certainly worth some thought.

Matthias von Hein, who had worked in Beijing during the 1990s before becoming head of the Chinese Department, will be moved to the central editorial department.

Within the cultural committee of Germany’s parliament, social democrats tended to be more supportive of the Voice of Germany, while Christian Democrats and Liberals wanted more time and more information to evaluate the work of the station.

Ulrich Wickert, son of a former German ambassador to Beijing, and Erik Bettermann will review several thousands of old news articles, translated back into German from their Chinese translations. As far as news about the torch relay, last years protests (or riots, make your own choice) in Tibet and the earthquake in Sichuan are concerned, interim results suggest no misconduct – according to supervisors of the station itself, anyway.

Zhang Danhong may not have shown the qualities she should – I think it’s too early for a final verdict -, but given that interview with herself, she probably knows how to sob on both sides of the microphone. The last woman who could do that was Patsy Cline.

Related: Unharmonious days, Nov. 14 »

Related: Unharmonious, update »

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Small World

A great time for car accidents. Not freezing most of the time, but humid and freezing once in a while.

English weather, a colleague noted. It is. Has been for the last three days. Silent, no wind, up to 4 degrees Celsius above zero at noon, and a visibility range of 50 to 200 meters before your sight meets with a house or its blurred shadows, or the outlines of leafless trees. Clearly audible voices outdoors when people speak, or when the crows make themselves heard.

More like November than like January.

%d bloggers like this: