|CNN's distortion of Tibet riot picture slammed by Netizens|
BEIJING, 23 March 2008 -- Tens of thousands of righteous and indignant netizens have answered calls to condemn CNN and a few other western media organizations for distorting facts in covering the riot in Lhasa, capital city of China's Tibet Autonomous Region.
"The fairness and objectivity of CNN is cropped," said one of the postings at the online forum of www.china.com. referring to a CNN website picture showing people running in front of a military truck. The original picture uploaded by Chinese netizens, however, actually also shows mobsters throwing stones at the truck.
"CNN has cut the part of mobsters attacking the military truck. That's misleading the public," said a posting by Sanfeng.
The netizens say that CNN and some western media organizations have intentionally neglected cruelties of the mobsters, revealing the hypocrisy of "objectivity and fairness" they had flaunted.
A CNN caption of another picture on its website said that some "Tibetan youths" were attacking a "Chinese".
"Aren't Tibetan youths also Chinese? I doubt whether the editor has ever studied history," said one of the postings.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) released a picture on its website showing Chinese Armed Police officers helping medical staff move a wounded person into an ambulance.
The website's caption said that "there is a heavy military presence in Lhasa", neglecting the obvious First Aid and red cross signs on the ambulance.
German newspaper Berlin Morningpost posted a picture on its website in which police in Lhasa rescued a young man of Han nationality assaulted by rioters. But the caption said "insurrectionist taken away by police".
American Fox TV said in a picture's caption on its website that Chinese military dragged some protestors onto a vehicle but actually the uniformed people were Indian police.
N-TV, headquartered in Germany, used TV footage showing police with captured protestors in a report on the Tibet riots. The footage had been shot in Nepal, the police were Nepalese.
Netizens at the online forum www.huanqiu.com said that to destroy the reputation of the Chinese government with unfounded material has been a frequently used tactic by some overseas media.
One netizen said a Canadian traveller who witnessed the riot in Lhasa wrote in his blog: those rioters assaulted civilians and policemen. This would have been cracked down on more severely if it had happened in Western countries.
"Why has no major overseas media cited these words?" the netizen complained.
The Canadian traveller also put in his blog a photograph he had taken of Chinese Armed Police building a wall of shields to defend against stones and bricks thrown by rioters.
Although the picture has been published by the New York Times on its front page, the caption made no mention of the attack by the rioters.
"Many friends working in western media consulted me to know more about the truth of the riot in Lhasa and sent me some western media reports," Liu Na, professor with College of Journalism and Mass Medium at Wuhan University said in an interview with Global Times.
"Bias and even prejudice still exist in some western media coverage about China because of old ways of thinking and different values," said Liu, who is also a cultural scholar at the University of Birmingham.
Xinhua has tried to contact CNN Beijing Bureau for a comment but has so far not succeeded, because the telephone is either busy or is not answered.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said at a press conference held on March 18 that China will consider the possibility of organizing foreign media to Lhasa and see on the ground what happened there.
Qin Gang, spokesman with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a regular press conference held on March 20 that efforts to organize such a trip are under way.
According to the Manchester Guardian, a slideshow on YouTube accuses CNN, Der Spiegel (a German newspaper), and other media of cropping pictures to show Chinese military while screening out rioters.