Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Kunming massacre sparks media war

Accusations by China of biased reporting by Western media on the Kunming massacre highlight a civilizational gap in traditions of journalism

By now we’ve all heard about Saturday night’s bloodbath at the Kunming Railway Station, where a dozen individuals wearing black uniforms descended upon innocent civilians and slashed away at them with long blades, killing 29 and injuring more than 130. The targeting of civilians is a terribly worrying development.

The reaction of the party-state has also been perturbing, especially the vitriol that was immediately unleashed against reporting by Western media. Since the attack, major media outlets in China have decried what they saw as “double standards” in their reporting on what Beijing immediately called “terrorism.” Critics have singled out CNN for a headline that initially put terrorism in inverted quotes (“Knife-wielding ‘terrorists’ kill 28, injure dozens at China train station”). Along with CNN, The Associated Press (AP), the New York Times and the Washington Post have also been criticized for “presenting their audiences and their readership with a distorted view of events.”

My article, published today at the China Policy Institute Blog, University of Nottingham, continues here.

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