Xinhua’s creative editors

Absolutely, totally priceless. BWC should post more often. Thank god for people who have the patience and fortitude to do work like this.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 14 Comments

Great work by BWC. He said he would be back shortly and how!!

I found reading the edited and unedited versions of this article both fascinating and disturbing. It’s a compelling indictment of the irresponsibility and journalistic liberties taken by state controlled media. So many highlights. Here’s one:

It is as if (deleted: the city has been hermetically sealed in a way that would eliminate anything unpleasant)cheerfulness permeates the entire city.

Wonderful stuff.

August 28, 2008 @ 4:31 pm | Comment

I should have made clear that “cheerfulness permeates the entire city” was Xinhua’s handiwork. Is anyone surprised?

August 28, 2008 @ 4:43 pm | Comment

China: Where The News Is Always Good….

Black and White Cat does a great job showing how China’s media sanitizes foreign media articles on China, in its post entitled, “How the New York Times (should have) covered the Olympics.” I am “speechless” not because I am surprised (I am not), b…

August 28, 2008 @ 4:44 pm | Trackback

Does this mean the western media are no longer biased?
Great find!

August 28, 2008 @ 5:04 pm | Comment

Rhys, so long as Xinhua and the rest can put it through their “truth filters” first!

August 28, 2008 @ 5:51 pm | Comment

I presume Xinhua did not pay Mr McGrath for using and abusing his article. It would be nice if the editors of Xinhua, China Daily etc were sent invoices and obliged to pay these usage fees, perhaps by being detained at airports and forced to cough up before leaving – if they ever visit the US..

August 28, 2008 @ 7:22 pm | Comment

Excellent job by BWC to draw attention to what is just one example of the fantasy passing for information in China. One can only imagine what passes for “education” in schools and universities. The lack of global perspective and an unsanitized look at local history and current events really puts the Chinese people at a disadvantage. The real tragedy is that they are not even aware of the disadvantage. Chinese citizens are as intelligent, studious and hardworking as people in any other country, but their government does them a great disservice by controlling their access to information.

August 28, 2008 @ 10:05 pm | Comment

What Xinhua did here is obviously the same as the Western media reporting on problems that exist in China.

August 28, 2008 @ 11:42 pm | Comment

@Hongwang

Obviously…are you kidding? Please show me an example of the Western media taking the content of Xinhua article and changing its “glowing praise” of China to criticism in similar fashion. I’ll be waiting anxiously for your “proof”.

August 29, 2008 @ 12:19 am | Comment

@Andy R,

Your sarcasm detector must be set to “off.”

August 29, 2008 @ 1:35 am | Comment

I think you are too sensitive about this. When one newspaper or agency reports on something published elsewhere, it’s quite natural for it to be shortened, modified or added to provided these changes are sourced and not presented as a true representation of the original text. Readers in different countries will often want to know different things and focus on different aspects of a story.

Also I think because the readers in China are not native English speakers, the editors must pay attention to the reading level of the article (like vocabulary or complicated grammar). So I think it is helpful to make some sentences shorter, and easier to read. This is only for practical reasons. Do not always link everything to politics, otherwise it’ll become another Cultural Revolution.

August 29, 2008 @ 1:43 am | Comment

>>Readers in different countries will often want to know different things and focus on different aspects of a story.

Funny, you never seem to say that when it comes to the “Western media.” I think you just gave a compelling answer to Chinese charges of “bias.” Readers in the West just want to know different things and focus on different aspects of stories about China compared to people in China. I’m glad you see that now.

>>This is only for practical reasons. Do not always link everything to politics

Yes, what was edited out of that article was not related to politics at all. Anything slightly negative gives Chinese grammar problems. Move along, nothing to see here.

August 29, 2008 @ 1:49 am | Comment

How HongXing (should have) responded to this post:

I think you are too (truthful) about this. When (a Chinese) newspaper or agency reports on something published elsewhere, it’s imperative for it to be (doctored) and not (a true representation) of the original text. (State media doesn’t want) Readers in (China) to know different things and focus on different aspects of a story (that don’t toe the government line).

Also I think because the readers in China are (too curious about the outside world), the editors must pay attention to the (political content) of the article (like (different perspectives on Beijing or the Olympics)). So I think it is helpful to make some sentences (harmonized), and easier to (reconcile with the gov’t narrative). This is only for (political) reasons. Do not always link everything to (reality), otherwise it (could make China look bad as well as good).

August 29, 2008 @ 2:46 am | Comment

HongXing, that’s the second time you copied and pasted my introduction to the One-edged Double-edged Sword:

http://www.pekingduck.org/2008/02/an-anatomy-of-censorship-in-china/

As I pointed out to you then, your second paragraph doesn’t really hit the mark because the Xinhua (and in this later case, Beijing Evening News) article is in Chinese, not English.

August 30, 2008 @ 3:45 am | Comment

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