Author: FineFood & Seamoon
A careful and shrewd reader who wishes to evaluate a country’s governance understands that there are two equally important factors to be looked at: what is said by the officials and what is not. Let’s take an example of a latest leakage of chlorine from a chemical factory in Zibo City, Shandong province, on 6 June 2020.
In the report of China News, a state-controlled media outlet, there are only two pictures showed from the official “Weibo” account of the local Publicity Department. In its Weibo, it wrote that there had been such an incident at 3 am due to the fracture of pipes, but everything was under control and the follow-up maneuver was in an orderly progress. Nine hours later, another piece of information was posted confirming the work had culminated in a successful sealing of the damaged conduit. There two pictures are the only information we could find on CCP’s media and social websites.
However, the matter was also reported in the Epoch Times, an outlet which is independent of the CCP. Apart from adopting the same official information, a video which was believed to be recorded by the locals was found and included in its news. It showed that the city was in a cloud of haze, delivering the level of severity of the outflow.
Through the different ways of reporting the same news, we can see how the media in China only works for the benefits of CCP, helping it to filter news harmful for its regime. While the media in China is recently inundated with news and opinions that lambast the US for America’s diplomacy, the treatment of matters that directly affect Chinese people is unproportionally lenient. For such a life-matter news, there is no question asked on the cause of the leakage, possible violation of the related industrial regulations and the potential impact on the (health of the) citizens. And whether there had been negligent discharge of monitoring duties on the part of government and what preventive measures will be taken were never mentioned. Are these salient questions habitually avoided? You bet.