As press authorities campaign against "fake news" their solutions leave the roots of the problem unaddressed.Read More
Search Results for: "fake news"
By Qian Gang — Four publications in China are now being purged for supposed violations of propaganda discipline. As Xinhua News Agency reported on November 24: “In 2006, Shanghai Securities News ran a fake news report about the concentration of China’s wealth in the hands of a few super-wealthy sons and daughters of businesspeople and senior officials. In 2009, Time Weekly, CPPCC News and Youth Times continued to use this false information, seriously misleading readers and having a negative social impact.” The Xinhua release said that “government offices of press and publications” were now dealing severely with these four media “in accordance with the law.” The reports in question were branded as “false” on the basis of two sentences in particular. The first was this one: “According to information in a joint research report by the Research Office of the State Council, the Research Office of the Central Party School, the Research Office of the Central Propaganda Department, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and other government offices, as of the end of March 2006 27,310 people [in China] had assets in excess of 50 million yuan, and 3,220 people had assets in excess of 100 million yuan. Among those with assets in excess of 100 million yuan, 2,932 were the sons and daughters of senior officials. They accounted for 91 percent of those with assets over 100 million,...Read More
In a tongue-in-cheek critique recalling the recent debate in China over “fake news” and a now-questioned news report about “cardboard dumplings” from Beijing TV, Hong Kong journalist Leung Man-to (梁文道) suggested in a mainland editorial today that party media reconsider use of improbable thank-you-Communist-Party quotes in news coverage of emergency situations. Leung’s editorial referred to state television coverage of the recent rescue of mine workers in Henan Province, in which one miner was quoted as saying after emerging from the blackness: “I thank the Central Party! I thank the State Council! I thank the government of Henan Province! I thank the people of the nation!” Chinese media, past and present, are replete with quotes of this kind, a practice that prompted the outspoken Southern Weekend to ridicule official news following major floods back in 1998. The quote in question then was: “The Communist Party is the best!” Southern Weekend drew sharp criticism from the Central Propaganda Department’s News Commentary Group for the editorial. In today’s editorial Leung said of the more recent Henan quote: For a Hong Konger like me, untrained [in the ways of the party], this quote goes directly against basic human character. Why? Because if a normal person is suddenly rescued after being trapped at the bottom of a mine for three days and not knowing whether they will live or die, won’t they be too...Read More
By some Chinese accounts, “fake news”, or xujia xinwen, has plagued news media in China since at least the Cultural Revolution, at which time media fabricated news to suit the political purposes of the Gang of Four. It is an extremely fuzzy term, and obviously, while it may be used by Chinese officialdom in campaigns against news regarded as unprofessional (or against party directives), could in its broadest sense (though not the official one) overlap with party propaganda itself. When looking at fake news in mainland China, one of the toughest challenges is to separate genuine calls for professionalism from moves to control news unfavorable to the party. Over the last two decades, as economic reforms have moved ahead, the problem of fake news has certainly grown more serious. Many officials and academics point to the commercialization of media industry and intensified market competition as root causes – the need for a political reform and a more independent role for journalism as a “profession” is not addressed openly. In June 2005, the Central Propaganda Department held a forum to discuss the issue. Reading between the lines, their definition of “fake news” predictably includes that which falls outside the purview of state news control, or “guidance of public opinion” (舆论导向). They mention the following tendencies in fake news: (1) more fake news is being outright fabricated, using flights of the...Read More
Liu Chang explores a 1999 news story that caused a stir across China, about the discovery of a man who was purportedly 160 years old. Liu’s piece takes an in-depth look at the phenomenon of fake news in China. [LINK...Read More