14 November, 2005

china’s media and bird flu

Via Danwei, a brief translation of an excellent Caijing magazine editorial criticizing reportage on the Avian Flu by China’s media.:

But despite [the greater transparency of the government in the wake of SARS], the domestic press still lags noticeably behind in its coverage. News about the virus often takes a detour to reach domestic audiences: it is first covered by foreign media, and then picked up by domestic press. Journalists sent to infected areas also say that local officials have not been cooperative enough…

…Clearly, we still have a ways to go in China to create completely transparent mechanisms for media scrutiny and the release of information to the public. But only by doing this can we build an environment conducive to enhancing public health and national health standards. In this sense, the latest round of bad news about avian flu, as worrying as it is, may prove to be a blessing in disguise. It calls attention to our inadequacies.

The Caijing piece is a fair assessment of the failings of China’s media in this matter. While it has been pointed out elsewhere that China’s media has been reporting on the flu, contrary to some media reports, it has been lagging.

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by @ 8:07 pm. Filed under Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Media, Censorship

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