According to CMP’s preliminary analysis, there are a total of 20 articles dealing with “Occupy Central” in China’s newspapers today, appearing in 18 separate newspapers but with substantial overlap of very limited information.
Of these 20 articles, 12 are taken from a single official release, or tonggao (通稿), from Xinhua News Agency. The Xinhua release, filed yesterday, reports remarks by Hong Kong’s chief secretary for administration, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor (林郑月娥), to the effect that the Hong Kong government would delay second round consultations on political reform.
In fact, this Xinhua story is woefully dated considering media outside mainland China, including the South China Morning Post, reported widely yesterday on a press conference two days ago at which Lam said: “[H]aving considered [the recent developments], we understand that the current social atmosphere is not good for such a consultation exercise.”
Here is a list of papers and headlines using the Xinhua release on second round consultation today:
We should note that with just two exceptions, these newspapers are from the three southernmost mainland provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi and Jianxi. The exceptions are the Changsha Evening Post, a commercial newspaper in Hunan (bordering Guangdong province on the north), and the Chengdu Evening Post, in Sichuan province.
The above-mentioned Xinhua article is played on the front page of four newspapers, Guangzhou Daily, Changsha Evening Post, Chengdu Evening Post and Jiangnan Metropolis Daily. In the case of the Changsha Evening Post, the article is in the lower left-hand corner, just above the banner ad (below).
Turning away from the Xinhua release on second round consultations, we have 6 articles in 5 newspapers (+China News Service) based on a second official news release from Xinhua News Agency — though 2 of these articles, at Beijing Daily and Changsha Evening Post are overlaps with the first list above, the two Xinhua releases having been combined.
It has to be noted with utmost disgust that the 2nd Xinhua release contains patent falsehoods — the result either of consummately poor reporting or willful distortion of the truth. It reads at one point:
Professor Peter Mathieson, vice-chancellor of the University of Hong Kong, called on students and teachers participating in ‘Occupy Central’ to immediately leave the site of the protest.
HKU’s vice-chancellor has not today, yesterday or at any time called on students and teachers to leave the protest. As the South China Morning Post has noted here, Peter Mathieson said yesterday that the university “profoundly regrets the escalation of events in recent days. We condemn violence of any kind by any party. We cannot understand the use of tear gas yesterday: the police and the government are accountable for that decision.”
Beyond these two Xinhua releases, we have 3 separate pieces today from the Chinese-language edition of the Global Times:
1. 港各界怒轰“无法无天” 策划者拒绝承担责任“占中”让香港一片狼借 — [not apparently available online] 2.“占中三子”须为骚乱负最大责任 — an angry diatribe arguing that “things unfolding as they have to now, the three instigators of Occupy Central must be given the utmost responsibility for this illegal movement going out of control.” 3.占中”深层震荡香港经济 — about the deleterious affect of Occupy Central on the Hong Kong economy
David is co-director of the China Media Project, and editor of the project’s website. He is the author of Dragons in Diamond Village (Penguin), a book of reportage about urbanisation and social activism in China, and co-editor of Investigative Journalism in China (HKU Press). His writings have appeared in the New York Times, the Far Eastern Economic Review, the Wall Street Journal, Index on Censorship, the South China Morning Post and others. He received a Human Rights Press Award in 2007 for an explanatory feature about China’s Internet censorship guidelines. David has a Master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Mr. Bandurski is an honorary lecturer at the Journalism & Media Studies Centre at the University of Hong Kong.