Archive for March 2nd, 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

“The Malfeasance of a Few…”

Having stumbled across another piece of shameless biased Western newsreporting, PI FENQING started farting uncontrollably, and swore revenge. Once again, the shameless and biased Western  liars had crapped his pants.

Having stumbled across another piece of shameless biased Western newsreporting, PI FENQING started farting uncontrollably, and swore revenge. Once again, the shameless and biased Western liars had crapped his pants.

I like ESWN as a source of information on China, or the Chinese press. I’m sure it will continue to be a great source. But I do also believe that currently, Roland Soong, who runs ESWN, is getting obsessed with an issue which, until recently, only seemed to excite fenqings: “The biased Western media”.

Mr Soong, a well-established and authoritative Hong-Kong based blogger, has listed several Western (including German) news articles which show baggy coverage on a “Jasmine Revolution” in China.

No German source I’m reading is interested in such stories. And as the Peking Duck pointed out today, some of those “Western” sources aren’t even “Western sources”. But then where’d be the fun for angry Chinese guardians of press accuracy (abroad) if they weren’t, somehow, “Western”, after all?

This is how Mr Soong reacts (or seems to react – I find it hard to believe that he would identify with the following paragraph, or author it, and I hope I’m getting this completely wrong):

A Beijing-based foreign correspondent read this and said: “But I haven’t heard of any of these outlets except Next Media Animation.”  That is not the point.  The point is that these examples are being circulated inside China as what “WESTERN MEDIA” do.  That is, the malfeasance of a few is taken to be standard behavior among all.  So will the rest of the western media stand up and denounce the few?  If they won’t, then it is case closed.  By contrast, whenever there is a case of media fakery in China, the media blogosphere/micro-blogosphere will expose and condemn with no mercy.  In these present examples, the typical western media response is: “Well, I didn’t and I wouldn’t do anything like this.”  Well, good for you!  But what is your role in clearing out such misinformation among the western world?  Oh, “It’s not my job”?

“The malfeasance of a few is taken to be standard behavior among all?” Weird logic. Is it the job of a Western newsman to distance himself for the sins of his Western colleagues? Shall, in the future, every Chinese businessman make apologies for technology some of his peers stole from my country? To whom? To me? To a former boss of mine? To the German taxpayers’ association?

If the Chinese media blogosphere wants to condemn my country, its media, or its beer with no mercy, so be it. Confused and blurred responsibilities lead nowhere. To attend an anger-management exercise, or several, would be the responsibility of the Chinese blogosphere Mr Soong is referring to.

Sorry, Mr Soong. That isn’t my business. And I can’t believe it is yours.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

CCTV Homestories shift from “Growth” to “Quality”

Building consensus ahead of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), also known as the two conferences or liang hui, may be time-consuming, and it doesn’t seem too likely that the topics have shifted dramatically during the past two months, under the influence of the revolutionary pictures from North Africa and the Middle East. But the way the CCP’s political agenda is presented in the mass media will have been influenced.

Affordable housing was a “hot topic” among netizens, according to a survey published by Xinhua and sina.com on Tuesday. One night earlier, CCTV‘s main news broadcast, Xinwen Lianbo, also focused on affordable housing, and on comprehensive city planning.*)

Xinmin Net (Shanghai), in a report on the Xinwen Lianbo broadcast on Tuesday:

On February 28, CCTV’s Xinwen Lianbo, in its Caring about the People’s Livelihood, caring about Development (看民生 看发展) special column, broadcast the news about “striving for affordable housing, let the common people live in good health” (发力保障房 让百姓安居更安康) right at the beginning of the newscast. At the center were Tianjin’s vigorous expansion of affordable housing, to let more low- and middle-income households experience better lives.

CCTV pays a Visit to "Granny Ji's" affordable flat in Tianjin

CCTV pays a Visit to "Granny Ji's" affordable flat in Tianjin

The broadcast (and the Xinmin report) focus on an elderly couple, 71-year-old “Granny Ji” (纪大妈) and her husband, who moved from a one-story building further on the outskirts of Tianjin, to a high-riser closer to the center of the city, in Hedong District (河东区).

Somewhat different from earlier reports that portrayed the CCP as a father Christmas with a magic wand, CCTV’s Tuesday report implicitly made it clear that, while the authorities were there to help, input by the households themselves was also required. “Granny Ji” and her husband had spent 60,000 Yuan RMB in 2010 to relocate from their rather remote one-storey building into their comfortable new home, with a much nicer environment, which also allowed her to leave her flat during seasons of snowfall, despite her suffering from spinal stenosis (腰椎管狭窄).

The Xinwen Lianbo report stated that some 1,400 people in the neighborhood had relocated to Hedong District under similar circumstances. Tianjin was making efforts to create affordable housing close to the city center.

I’m no regular Xinwen Lianbo watcher any more (and I’m sometimes  ostracized by Chinese friends for watching it regularly when in China), but from my unsystematic database, I seem to conclude that CCTV is shifting from victorious news from the GDP front to growth quality issues, and to how that focus on quality improves daily lives. Monday’s report on “Granny Ji” also seems to constitute a refinement from a rather crude propaganda movie of December 30 – China’s mass media are learning organizations.

That said, a visit to the common people by a member of the collective leadership itself will always differ somewhat, in sound and vision, from coverage on an ordinary television crew’s visit.

Look forward to more coverage on Caring about the People’s Livelihood, caring about Development – “Granny Smith” was only the beginning, and the news announcer advised the audience of further highlights of the party’s and government’s key aspects of attention to come, such as education and income distribution. All that, of course, as outcomes of the eleventh five-year plan which has just ended.

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Notes
*) Xinwen Lianbo videos are usually available on Youtube for a few days, after they were originally aired, but are then taken down again. They should also be available on CCTV’s official website, but downloads tend to take much more time there. For now, the youtube link is
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40N1ouRInEM

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Related
China’s Rebalancing Act, Wall Street Journal, March 1, 2011
More Convenience with “Social Management”, Febr 21, 2011
Propaganda will Set You Free, August 9, 2009

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