What's wrong with this Western story about China?
2017-10-21 11:12:00

It has become common practice in recent years that whenever China holds a serious political event, such as the party congress, that some western media would try everything they can to make themselves the subject of the story.

Last year, while reporting on the Chinese Communist Party’s annual dialogue with the world, the China editor of a mainstream western media outlet went around the venue of the event, complaining that she couldn’t get any one to have a dialogue with! Since when have journalists had the power to talk to whomever they want, wherever and whenever they want? I worked as a correspondent in Europe. You always asked for permission before you stuck out your microphone. If you talked to someone out of the blue, be prepared that they might turn you down.

And now, not surprising at all, another journalist from the same media outlet has tried the same trick, in front of and inside the Great Hall of the People where the 19th National Congress of the CPC is being held. He wasn’t getting any, however hard he tried. And the reason is very obvious, what he was doing was not to genuinely seek delegates’ thoughts about the congress itself, but how they viewed the leader of a foreign country - Kim Jong Un.

You can imagine the kind of rejection he was getting. But it didn’t matter that his question was irrelevant. The fact that he couldn’t get any interview was the story. He frowned, he sighed, he shrugged his shoulders, making the experience dramatic indeed. But hey, why on earth would you ask people about their opinions of Kim Jong Un when the meeting was about the future of the CPC, something so totally different? There are so many topics about the meeting that could affect people in the UK and around the world. But the journalist chose to ignore all that.

It seemed the journalist did nothing wrong as the story ran in its entirety on TV repeatedly. At one stage, it also got the most viewing of its top video stories on the official website of that media outlet. The video clip’s title suggests that CPC delegates are tight lipped and unfriendly to the western press. But what these delegates were really avoiding was a journalist who comes out of the blue to ask an apparently irrelevant question. When you cannot understand the intention of the journalist, it’s only wise to be tight-lipped. Also, the reputation that many western journalists have in China is one of bias and negativity. Even if the delegates would have an answer, they wouldn’t want to share it with a foreign looking journalist, sticking out his microphone randomly.

Without looking into the reasons why people avoid these western journalists, such a report misleads the audience in painting CPC members and thus the party as a whole in a one-dimensional, superficial way. That has been the fallacy of the western media when it comes to reporting on China, not lying, but never telling the whole truth.

China’s rise is bad news to some in the western media. When they find it unstoppable, they chase the story that’s not there. What an ironical story, indeed. This is Liu Xin, getting straight to the point.

Source:CGTN Editor:Hiram