CNN
CNN

by Xinhua writer Chen Shilei

Ted Turner, founder of CNN, once said that “the whole idea of television news or any kind of news is to inform people about things they need to know about.”

CNN
CNN

Unfortunately, some of Turner’s men have, once and again, deviated from the founder’s idea by inaccurate and partial reporting.

On Thursday morning, the cable network broadcasted a video recorded by a reporter showing he was blocked from reporting live outside a hospital on the massive warehouse blasts in the northernt Chinese port city of Tianjin.
The CNN anchor later commented from the studio that it was not the first time for CNN correspondents in China to suffer some hindrance on the job, putting blame on “security and officials”.

He even said that “this is something that happened many times over the years in a number of stories in China,” hinting at its normal occurrence in the country.

Although CNN later published a correction via its twitter account, saying that its correspondent was interrupted in a live report by “upset friends and relatives of victims killed and injured in the China blasts,” it was not enough for CNN to make up for what it has done.

In an age marked with virus-like dissemination of information, the inaccurate reporting about the incident, for whatever purpose, has exerted negative influence on China’s image, with TV audience, Twitter followers and netizens questioning what was behind the blocking of reporting.

From the perspective of news ethics, reporters should respect the injured and families of victims when they cover a deadly incident like the Tianjin blasts, in which at least 44 people were killed and 521 hospitalized. This is what the CNN reporter Will Repley was trying to do, when he agreed to stop recording after several men asked him to.

It is also understandable that the next of kin of the victims, who tended not to believe the fact of losing their beloved ones, became emotional when seeing reporters covering the tragedy.

However, how could the anchor easily conclude that it was Chinese “security and officials” who stopped Repley from reporting? How could he easily misinterpret the blocking of reporting as a usual case in China? The reason is inseparable from CNN’s deep-rooted prejudice against China.

It needs to point out that this is not the first time that CNN has made prejudiced reporting on China. From the March 14 Tibet riots in 2008 to the Kunming terror attacks in March 2014, the CNN has had an array of records of inaccurately reporting these incidents.

The cable network has not taken off its colored glasses and failed to see that the Chinese government has improved a lot in communicating with the media when dealing with emergencies.

Taking the Tianjin blasts as an example, Chinese media has ongoing reports about the incident via wire services, TV channels, the Internet and mobile phones, while foreign media has access to the scene of the incident.

In emergencies like the Tianjin explosions, what the media needs to do is to strictly follow the news ethics instead of baselessly speculating on an accidental blocking of reporting. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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