Author: mandywr

Is China demonized by western media [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2008-5-14 07:34:13 |Display all floors

When does international media discriminate?

renegadedog9 posted a link to this online article. I've lifted a piece so that others may consider it with regard to Tibet:

WHAT, THEN, causes the international media to discriminate between the various liberation struggles that are going on throughout the world?

Here are some of the relevant considerations:

    - Do the people seeking independence have an especially exotic culture?

    - Are they an attractive people, i.e. "sexy" in the view of the media?

    - Is the struggle headed by a charismatic personality who is liked by the media?

    - It the oppressing government disliked by the media?

    - Does the oppressing government belong to the pro-American camp? This is an important factor, since the United States dominates a large part of the international media, and its news agencies and TV networks largely define the agenda and the terminology of the news coverage.

    - Are economic interests involved in the conflict?

    - Does the oppressed people have gifted spokespersons, who are able to attract attention and manipulate the media?

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Post time 2008-5-14 07:45:28 |Display all floors

When does the opinion of an individual become that of an organization?


It is interesting that you should make an analogy to national athletes. I know that the athletes of my country going to the Olympics have been asked to refrain from voicing any (adverse) opinion whilst at the games.

However, outside of the games they may speak freely and frankly as any individual should. BUT, as a national athlete they have attained some level of celebrity status and will likely be listened to by a wider audience.

If having celebrity status allows one to voice an opinion and have it heeded to by a larger audience - should they not use it?

When does an opinion voiced by an individual become that of the organization that produced their fame? Where is the line between speaking as an individual and speaking on behalf of an organization?


I have now seen the Jack Cafferty piece on youtube. He does not say anything along the lines of "We at CNN believe that.." Surely, he is simply using CNN (with its large audience) as a medium in which to voice his own opinion?

I invite your thoughts.

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Post time 2008-5-14 08:27:14 |Display all floors

Basic Logic 101.

Thank you to both TV and aotearoa for the invitation. Basically we can always express an opinion as John Citizen , say , down at the pub or among friends and that would be considered as a  " private or personal opinion " .Even if you are the CEO of a big organization, no one would have grounds to link your view with your organization's name. On the other hand , if you are wearing your organization hat and is up there on a podium pontificating and sermonizing , then all your thoughts and opinions would be taken as being reflective of that organization !!

Eg ; Dubya can say anything among friends down on the ranch but if those same remarks are broadcast to the world at a press conference, he is not entitled to hide behind that fig leaf of " personal opinions ".

Mr Cafferty the cad did his rant in the full glare and glory of the CNN spotlight and reach . To now try to slip away with the limp excuse of a" personal opinion " is both crass and cowardly . don't you think ?

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Post time 2008-5-14 08:55:01 |Display all floors

Legitimate or moot?


I thank you for your opinion.

Though I ask, do you believe that there is any apropriate time that one may express a personal opinion whilst within the international spotlight?

Jack Cafferty's remarks were not newsdesk reporting but merely himself gassing on about his own distorted view. Please don't think that I'm trying to defend him in any way. I am simply trying to ascertain your thoughts as to how an international news operator should work and when and where free opinion is and isn't appropriate. The latter however, you have answered succinctly and I thank you for it.


Another issue:

This is where I see a difference between a Chinese viewpoint and a Western viewpoint. Though I stress, I am not trying to validate one over the other.

It seems that in looking through this and other postings that (presumably) Chinese bloggers saw Cafferty's reamarks as an affront to all Chinese by CNN itself. That the comments themselves were voiced through Cafferty is circumspect.

My initial reaction was to think that Cafferty was a bigot and plain wrong. I immediately wrote off the remark as his own personal opinion and not that of CNN.

Is it the differences in prima facie opinion that have set off this entire argument? Are the standards for news media in China different than those in the West and unlikely to change? Is one wrong and the other right, or is it simply cultural differences? Is this entire farce a legitimate argument or just moot?

Your opinion, as always, is welcome.

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Post time 2008-5-14 09:31:58 |Display all floors
I'd have to agree with mengzhi on this one. Arguing that a particular commentator is entitled to use a major TV or radio network to air his or her opinion is a slippery slope. Two cases in point: Michael Savage was fired by MSNBC not too long ago for referring to a gay caller as a "sodomite" and said he should "get AIDS and die."  Randy Rhodes, a radio talk show host, was first suspended and then fired after she used aggressive language to describe both Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro. Due to the profanity used, I'll not repeat what was said. Rhodes was at an appearance on behalf of the radio network (not on the radio at the time), while Savage was on air.

Both expressed their own opinions (albeit not very tactfully), and yet their employers gave them the boot. This obviously had everything to do with viewership/listenership concerns. The same argument can be made about Cafferty's statement on CNN, except in reverse: this time the statement had been deemed "good" for ratings. The statement generated a lot of positive publicity for CNN simply because now the target was someone many Americans love to hate: China.

So, it appears that there are unequal standards being applied here. Who establishes when the line has been crossed? Is this line determined simply by network revenues? Does it depend upon which group/organization/government has been disparaged? As you can see, if rules are not established and adhered to, equally, then really we're trying to have it both ways.

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Post time 2008-5-14 09:51:06 |Display all floors
Thanks sock-monkey, I appreciate your comment.

Indeed, publishers will always want to protect their own reputation. And in this case, I'm afraid I'll have to agree with you...

"The statement generated a lot of positive publicity for CNN simply because now the target was someone many Americans love to hate: China. "

I do not reside in the United States so do not intimately know American media standards. Thank you for highlighting some previous cases of transgression.

It seems that CNN comes under fire for things like this all too often. What do you believe to be a better TV news network? I have always respected the International Herald Tribune and do not usually watch TV news media.

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Post time 2008-5-14 10:33:23 |Display all floors
"anyone telling the truth about Iraq is dispatched to Guantanamo if they're Iraqi. If a westerner, their reports are buried whilst they themselves are re-educated by their superiors and threatened with dismissal; why do you think that, of all the hundreds of newspapers and tv stations that Murdoch owns, not one criticised the invasion of Iraq, nor the fake evidence used to justify it.

Their business is a dirty one- to distract people's attention, keep them fighting amongst themselves and to prevent any rational thinking. Their owners are like hyenas feeding off roadkill. "

this simply isnt true

one of the most popular shows in America is built around criticizing our government and its actions (the daily show, colbert report, etc)...ironically these "fake" news shows do better reporting than CNN/FOX, hahah

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