Archive for August 11th, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Media Coverage: Unspoken (and Spoken) Rules

Bremen-Hastedt power station, sunrise, August 2010

The East is Red, Bremen-Hastedt power station, August 2010

Huanqiu Shibao isn’t the source of information in my books, but I’m glad to serve people who feel that some of its coverage is missing on American or European papers and websites. “Can’t quite see this getting our front page headines tomorrow”Richard W. wrote on the Media Lens Message Board yesterday.

That said, I hope people there are aware that there are unspoken, and spoken (propaganda department) rules of media reporting in China, too.

Currently, everything that may serve to create the impression that the Taiwanese public – or a substantial share of it – longed for being “united with the motherland” seems to be high on the agenda of the Chinese press. This includes a lecture by Noam Chomsky held there on Monday. Unless I find the contents of the lecture on Professor  Chomsky’s own website, or on any other reliable source, I don’t take it for granted that he was quoted correctly, and in a ontext he would agree with.

That said, Chomsky is a very outspoken academic – and an esteemed one, even at the Economist.

Huanqiu Shibao, in its report of Tuesday, went to great length to point out what a heavyweight Chomsky is, before quoting him. What they didn’t point out is how much China would need a Chomsky of its own.

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