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Do you dare to believe western media's reports on China? [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2006-3-14 16:42:42 |Display all floors
Chinese Bloggers Stage Hoax Aimed at Censorship Debate

from WSJ

Some well-known bloggers in China used an unlikely tool last week to make a point that Western news media and politicians misunderstand Chinese censorship. They shut themselves down.

Notices posted on the Chinese-language blogs Massage Milk and Milk Pig announced that "Due to unavoidable reasons with which everyone is familiar, this blog is temporarily closed."

Within hours, English-language bloggers and Western news media spread the word that the Chinese government had closed the sites. The BBC news service reported that Massage Milk was "closed down by the authorities," adding that the act had coincided with the annual session of the Chinese legislature. Picking up on that report and others from news services, French free-press group Reporters Without Borders issued a statement condemning the closure of the blogs.

China has recently stepped up its censorship of dissent and monitoring of the Internet, late last year asking Microsoft Corp. to take down the blog of journalist Michael Anti, among other acts. After the topic hit the front pages of U.S. newspapers and magazines, Congress held hearings in February about the ways in which U.S. Internet companies cooperate with Chinese censorship.

But in this case, it appears the Chinese government wasn't involved. By Thursday, a day after the shut-downs, the blogs were back up and running.

In an interview, Beijing-based journalist Wang Xiaofeng of Massage Milk says he shut his blog down to make a point about freedom of speech -- just one directed at the West instead of at Beijing. He calls the Western press "irresponsible" and says that the hoax was designed "to give foreign media a lesson that Chinese affairs are not always the way you think."

"They are not just supposed to report based on their own perceptions, without understanding the circumstances in China," he says, noting that the BBC's report was exactly what he expected. The BBC didn't call him to discuss the issue before publishing its stories, he says.

London-based BBC reporter Sebastian Usher, who wrote the original BBC report, says he did try to contact Mr. Wang but wasn't able to reach him. "There is a knee-jerk reaction amongst journalists -- including myself -- to stories that seem to show the Chinese cracking down on freedom of expression on the Internet," he wrote in an email. The BBC later corrected its story citing a government role in the shutdowns.

Reporters Without Borders issued a correction to its statement on March 9, calling the incident a "joke." But Julien Pain, who runs the organization's Internet Freedom Desk, says he doesn't think Mr. Wang understands the consequences of the incident.

"If some bloggers start crying wolf this way," Mr. Pain says, "nobody will listen to us when we try to support those who really need help. Censorship exists, as well as repression against Internet writers."

Mr. Wang says he and Milk Pig acted jointly. Milk Pig couldn't be reached for comment.

[ Last edited by catbird at 2006-3-14 04:57 PM ]

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Post time 2006-3-14 19:52:21 |Display all floors
Do you dare to believe western media's reports on China?


No, I dare not.

But comparatively speaking, I am more of a coward looking at the home front.
Opinions are determined by interests, but interests are a matter of opinion.
David Hume

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Post time 2006-3-14 20:08:21 |Display all floors

Dare, yes.

Even if some of these revelations are hoaxes and nearly always biased. Still a good portion of information can be read taking the bias into account.

From time to time a pupil/student jerk calls police and warns about planted bomb in his school , for he wants to avoid certain lessons.

Them stupid cops , in their knee-jerk reaction, close the school and evacuate whole the lot, knowing that the chance is weak to turn out the danger be true. Anyway they do it.

These stupid cops calculate , that the summary of the mess coming out of 999 unnecessary evacuations is still less disturbing than a non-reaction in the thousandth , real stuff.

I am also suficiently stupid to think these cops are right.

[ Last edited by doberman at 2006-3-14 08:10 PM ]
Andy Dob

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Post time 2006-3-14 20:21:52 |Display all floors
as the threads says,foreign medias doent understand the circumastance in china,so they may report some stuff that they only saw one aspect of the phenomenon or get a superfical understanding.

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Post time 2006-3-14 21:34:11 |Display all floors
Originally posted by leejee at 14-3-2006 12:21
as the threads says,foreign medias doent understand the circumastance in china,so they may report some stuff that they only saw one aspect of the phenomenon or get a superfical understanding.


That may happen sometimes, but in other scenarios they may make insightful observations - and say necessary things that the domestic media won't. You have to look at it on a case-by-case basis.

It's worth noting that Chinese people were also fooled by the hoax, including some well-known Chinese bloggers - it wasn't as if the only people taken in were foreigners.

[ Last edited by mencius at 2006-3-14 02:00 PM ]
"People are the water, the ruler is the boat; water can carry the boat, but it can also capsize it."

-- Li Shimin (2nd Tang Emperor, "Taizong")

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Post time 2006-3-14 21:49:23 |Display all floors
generally speaking, foreign media are more reliable than "xin wen lian bo".
of course, foreign media has some bias in its reports, so it need reader to use his brain to find out the fact,  can't you think these reports through by youself.  in contrast, do you think the comment in "ren ming ri bao" is absolutely right, equal and represents the right of all human being.
so i think Massage Milk's behaviour is naive,  just take use of the concern from outer to make a ridiculous joke on itself.
i think demestic media should pay more attention on the social development.  
if a reporter reveals a corruption in a local government, he will be confronting a very dangerous situation, a threat against his life.
but if he write something attacking foreigners, like japanese, oh, it's so good, normal people don't care about the content, just give applause to the "fighter".
it is so easy to become a cheap "national hero"

[ Last edited by corner at 2006-3-14 10:41 PM ]

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Post time 2006-3-14 22:59:00 |Display all floors
I'm not convinced that this is true.

China has recently stepped up its censorship of dissent and monitoring of the Internet


The opposite of what you describe in the above sentence is what I have found to be true.  In recent months there has been more freedom to post on a wider range of topics here on the China Daily forum.

In fact, your allegation that more censorship and monitoring is occuring remains posted here, so it is a self-disproving statement.

Reporters without Borders sounds like a combination of everything about Western civilization that's bad.  It's name is taken from the group Doctors without Borders, which is a charitable organization that dispatches physicians to help in crises.  But reporters aren't doctors.  They needn't train as many years and their work is not humanitarian.  Reporters write articles that are slanted to match the biases of their editors, who are skilled at producing news that is slanted to match the biases of the readers and viewers.  So Reporters without Borders is just a silly, self-important group of people whose only agenda is to create attention for themselves.

What is their response to jumping the gun when some bloggers shut down their own sites?  They accuse the bloggers of wrongly "crying wolf."  However, the bloggers didn't actually say that their sites had been closed by the China government, according to what is posted above.  That was simply a conclusion that Reporters without Borders reached on their own.  The parable of the boy who cried wolf was about a boy who cried "wolf."

龙年顺顺利利

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