More Media Comments

Fascinating responses from my last post. I wonder where all those people (same one?) picked up my blog post and then left so many "anti-CNN"/"support China" comments. A Google person has been consulted.

Would these people who leave comments be offended when I once chastised Chinese who cannot open an ear to anti-China voices?

Anyway, noticed some differences in media trends on their coverage of the earthquake:
  • CNN headlines usually involve "Death toll exceeds xxxx, state media says"
  • BBC headlines is the same: "Death toll exceeed xxxx, state media says"
  • Hong Kong headlines try to create a sense of desperation... something like "Region devastated"
  • China headlines are much more positive: "PLA reaches epicenter", "1 Survivor pulled from school rubble", etc
(I don't think this post will get much comments... Shmoo?)


shmoo said...

Nothing to say here, but the comments on your last entry are hilarious.

Anonymous said...

I hope you don't really think those comments were from the same person.. I was amongst the commenters and I'm not even Chinese. I just happen to have lived there for years and have a lot of Chinese friends. I felt the need to post something because a) I know first-hand that Chinese/Western perceptions are sadly confused and it's clear that people can't even remember why they're saying what they're saying (yes, on both sides), and b) because I can't really afford for Chinese/Western relations to deteriorate -- I need the borders to remain open and for China (and Chinese people) to continue to welcome foreign visitors. It turns out that if I'm posting a comment that is sympathetic to China, I prefer to do it anonymously (yes, here's my "tinfoil hat" moment to compliment the "same person" theory :)).

Anyway, yeah.. Some background on the anti-CNN thing. Chinese people had a bit of a 'wtf' lately when it seemed the media glossed over the details of the initial rioting in Tibet (random Han Chinese attacked, their stores trashed and burnt) and dove straight into the more-comfortable, somewhat more abstract, and more-fun-to-editorialize-about outrage over the suppression of it. The reporting wasn't exactly handled in the way that it would be if it were happening in the journalists' own backyard -- so it came as a shock to some people. So then like all good political disagreements, anyone offended or threatened who feels underrepresented jumps in with responses that overcompensate and may come off as ridiculous, particularly if there's a vast divide in perspective to begin with.. and that's where those comments come in :)

Yes, Chinese media intentionally puts spins on things. Chinese people laugh at it too -- usually more laughing and dismissal than anger, though that can happen too. At this particular time, I don't think it would be criticized much (people want to come together at times like this). In the next week or so, it will be about time that a responsible press would talk about rebuilding and what went wrong. That's where people might raise their eyebrows a bit at some omissions and spins. Still not time though if you're there.

Anonymous said...

To be honest (and yes, this is me again), the comments in response last time didn't strike me as particularly over-the-top or pro-China. I guess that goes to show how big the divide in perspective may be. Whether I watch the news in China or the USA, the absurdity of it is mesmorizing. You can think of the bad/naive reports on technology that you're familiar with, or any times that a journalist has interviewed you or a family member and missed the point, and then with living in another place on the other side of the world and finding it's not the same, the horror of it all being a little warped starts to set in. Ok. Now I'll go :)

Josekin said...

Great comments. Thanks for taking the time to type it out. (Not you, Shmoo)

Anonymous said...

It's me (same anonymous guy) again. I totally missed this before because I assumed that you knew.. but.. you're aware that your blog was linked below the 'one-child policy' CNN story (via Sphere) for a while, right? That's how I found your blog that time, and is why you got so many comments. You're not linked there anymore because it's dynamic.

Laughing Man said...

I can sympathize with the "state media says" quip. I think a lot of people felt they got burned (and some probably really did get burned with illness) when China fudged their SARS case numbers and decided to supress information when SARS surfaced.

People and foreign media know all too well that the Central Government's statistics should be taken with a grain of salt.

I recommend Mr. Anonymous at least create a fake Google account so you won't have to keep introducing yourself each time you post.

What I hated most about the whole CNN thing is how the "Fen Qing" came out all rightious and patriotic on people's asses. It really showed how mindless their behavior was.

Anonymous said...

I didn't mean to particularly single out state media. -begin rant- I don't know how television is in Hong Kong.. but it would really be difficult to defend American news media right now. They universally report anything that might confirm peoples' worst fears, regardless of how unrepresentative and misleading the share of air time is turning out to be. This way, yes, the reports may be true - but people who don't laugh in the face of the production on the whole are liable to find themselves at someone else's throats. You get to decide which paranoid perspective you want to confirm upfront, based on who in society you hate. Fox News presents one world for those who feel persecuted by anyone who isn't on the far right of the political spectrum, and CNN is the farcicly showy default that you can't avoid (and has a shitload of commercials -- I should also mention that if you're watching CNN international, that isn't the CNN that is aired locally). If you want news at any time of the day, then that's pretty much all you get. And then they drag any high-rated story on as long as they can, regardless of whether or not there have been relevant developments, and regardless of whether or not anyone found it to be informative or newsworthy in the first place. When developments aren't coming in, they drag in some loudmouths with an opinion and give them each 10-second windows to say something foolish to hopefully get your blood boiling enough for you to be tricked into caring. They do all this while talking(/yelling?) in a shrill voice -- because apparently what you're supposed to do in broadcasting is try and annoy the hell out of everyone. I suppose I am singling out television news media.. Print and online media have the same biases that you've got to pick upfront. Chinese news is more blatantly selected for 'social harmony'. This is about the least American thing I could say, but I can see benefits to that as far as people getting along is concerned. American media has a knack for helping to produce dickheads, so then while you might get a more efficient government, you unfortunately have to live and work with them.
Anyway, it's fun to complain about these things. People suck :)

Laughing Man said...

People Suck! My thoughts exactly. I'm finding that to be more true as time goes by. Though I'm sure it's just me getting grumpier.

Spot on about CNN. Instead of real reporting, they try to make news into entertainment. I hate CNN. When I'm in the US, I listen to NPR and download the podcasts.

I saw the Michael Moore film, Sicko recently, and wanted to do some research. Came across this live interview CNN did with him, and it was pretty stupid whether you agree with Moore or not. The CNN people kept saying they agree with Moore's assessment of the US health care system, but kept on nitpicking about minor details in the film. It really made you want to strangle someone (or shake them violently).

The whole social harmony and Chinese media makes sense, but they take it to an extreme. Sometimes to the point where it causes people harm. This is the government's doing. Sometimes when the media tries to report on an injustice, the government or corruption takes over and reporters get thrown in jail on trumped up charges. It makes you want to strangle someone (or stab them repeatedly).

Martina said...

I hope his don't really think tose comment were from the same person.

Martina said...

What a great this media and comment .