China Daily Screws Up Again

Are the guys who run the CD website the most incompetent, lazy faux journalists who ever lived? It’s hard to think otherwise (despite their famous high standards for accepting only the most scholarly and erudite reader-contributed articles).

The Discussion: 67 Comments

Well I thinik it’s simply because most of the journalists hired by China Daily are students and people with English as their native language, but with almost no journalism experiences before, and those people are mostly foreigners. So I think to improve the quality of the newspaper, we should start hiring people with experiences and not hire people just because they are foreigners, sometimes foreigners can be just as nasty as Chinese.

September 12, 2005 @ 6:43 pm | Comment

Oh, now I get it. It’s just because of its foreigners that CD screws up.

Actually Math, this issue is not really about journalistic experience, it’s about a state of mind that says piracy is okay, taking someone else’s ideas and even their verbatim copy and passing it off as your own is acceptable. Now, I do know one Westerner who does this, I admit, but it is something you can find time and again in the Chinese media, just as you can find pirated goods in their stores. It’s a common state of mind in CHina, whether it’s right or wrong, and it is not a common state of mind in Western journalism. When it happens, it becomes front-page news and scandal material, as with Jayson Blair. In China, it’s simply an everyday fact of life. But it must be because of those pesky foreigners. If you comb through Danwei.org, you’ll see that Jeremy has documented scores of examples of Chinese media lifting stories from other media verbatim – and not just CD, but also Xinhuanet and People’s Daily. Must be a symoptom of Western influence, because the Chinese would never think to copy something and pass it off as their own.

Math, you really are a piece of work.

September 12, 2005 @ 6:56 pm | Comment

Or in the case of CCTV-9 and my international school, it’s probably simply a case of an incompetent Chinese administration that can’t be bothered to go through the hassle of hiring experienced laowei. My school hires kids fresh out of college because they’re cheap and accept anything; happy just for the experience. So every year we need to find new staff. Don’t blame foreigners, blame the system that creates this. Some people are so up the CCP’s ass that they simply can’t bear to blame the people actually responsible for the fiasco in the first place. In fact my girlfriend has extensive experience with CCTV and she says the Chinese staff there are incompetent and demoralised, working for a monolithic organisation that wants everything the same without any competition or daring. Where’s the justification in asking some guy to come in from America to tell them how to provide a quality service? Could it be the case for China Daily, forced to report on whatever the gov’t forces it to because the CCP sees its people as too stupid to be able to handle real news and insight in order to cling onto its power?
Personally I wish CCTV would hire people simply because of they are foreigners and can be understood in the target audience’s own language. I remember watching reports that were taken straight from foreign links but redubbed using a Chinese national’s voice.

September 12, 2005 @ 6:56 pm | Comment

OPEN LETTER TO RICHARD:
Why do you continue to let this nutter take over your blog, asssuming it is tpd’s nemesis?

September 12, 2005 @ 6:58 pm | Comment

Keir, I am trying to be a fair and decent host. He hasn’t attacked anyone personally or been a true asshole in the Madge tradition. But I am definitely debating tossing him, because there’s no doubt he’s a mischief maker. Again, I’m trying to be as fair as possible, and banning someone from my site is never an easy thing to do.

September 12, 2005 @ 7:02 pm | Comment

Keir, have you ever read reports by Americans who have worked at CCTV-9? They make it sound like such a journalistic travesty that all they can do is laugh about it.

I went to journalism school and in my very first job as a reporter I was responsible for my radio station’s news reporting and hit the ground running; I never pirated a story or made shit up. To blame this on inexperienced staff just out of school (as Math recklessly claims) is insane. If it’s true, the schools they graduated from are worthless. It’s pretty fundamental that a reporter never copies stories verbatim from other reporters without attribution.

September 12, 2005 @ 7:08 pm | Comment

Well I will concede that there are indeed cases of pirating by Chinese media, but I claim that such cases are just as rampant in the US.

Now you may say “No there are much few cases of pirating in US media!”. Well do you have any stats on pirating cases in US media? Do you have any reports/graphs/data that prove there are so fewer cases of pirating in US media? If there are indeed fewer cases of pirating in US media, then it’ll be natural to see prominent reports of this fact everywhere, right? But the truth is, I have no seen anything that clearly states that there are fewer cases of pirating in US media. Now you may say “Math! You are wrong! The US only has Jayson Blair and a few other cases!”. But how do you know they are the only ones? I think many people spend their free time combing their Chinese media to look for any “dark sides” to it, so of course you’ll see more exposure. If CCTV hires people to massively examine the US media, I’m there there could be just as many cases of “impropriety”.

So there’s a saying in Chinese of “Wu Shi Bu Xiao Bai Bu.” In the West, the saying is “the tea-kettle calling the pot black”.

September 12, 2005 @ 7:19 pm | Comment

And also, you both gave “anecdotal” evidence of how your friends have worked in CCTV/China Daily and came back and said they both are very bad organizations, etc.

I do not doubt that your friends both said those things. But I don’t think it indicates anything. For example, if I’m hired to work for CNN, and if I genuinely feel that CNN is a very professional and has great journalistic integrity, I will still not admit it, simply because I do not like America, and I have a psychological barrier to praise it. So even if I enjoyed working in CNN, I’d still tell my Chinese friends in Mainland how CNN reporters have low standards, pirate stories, make biased reporting, etc etc etc, just to confirm their previous opinions about the American media and make both them and myself pyschological comfortable.

I think your friends who worked in CCTV/China Daily may also be suffering from the same psychological reasons.

September 12, 2005 @ 7:23 pm | Comment

That’s it Math, I’m asking you now to buzz off. Hope you’ve had fun.

September 12, 2005 @ 8:03 pm | Comment

Most of the schools they graduated from ARE worthless. Most Chinese university teachers are worthless, ESPECIALLY those in the “Humanities” (aka, “Departments of Deranged Nationalist Propaganda”)

Chinese “professors” plagiarise almost EVERYthing. They have no concept of plagiarism, or of the difference between writing and copying. When the Chinese say “writing”, they usually mean “copying.”

And of course the whole concept of original thinking is anathema to the Communists.

September 12, 2005 @ 8:03 pm | Comment

You can’t ask a robot to buzz off. All you can do is pull out his batteries.

September 12, 2005 @ 8:11 pm | Comment

Agreed Ivan, but I’m such a softie deep down inside, behind my gruff macho exterior. Pulling the plug is so extreme.

September 12, 2005 @ 8:15 pm | Comment

Most of the schools they graduated from ARE worthless. Most Chinese university teachers are worthless, ESPECIALLY those in the “Humanities” (aka, “Departments of Deranged Nationalist Propaganda”)

Chinese “professors” plagiarise almost EVERYthing. They have no concept of plagiarism, or of the difference between writing and copying. When the Chinese say “writing”, they usually mean “copying.”

Please do not insult Chinese education! Most Chinese Professors are scholars who contribute to the world’s science!

September 12, 2005 @ 8:31 pm | Comment

Most of the schools they graduated from ARE worthless. Most Chinese university teachers are worthless, ESPECIALLY those in the “Humanities” (aka, “Departments of Deranged Nationalist Propaganda”)

Chinese “professors” plagiarise almost EVERYthing. They have no concept of plagiarism, or of the difference between writing and copying. When the Chinese say “writing”, they usually mean “copying.”

And of course the whole concept of original thinking is anathema to the Communists.

Posted by Ivan at September 12, 2005 08:03 PM

———

what math said is very true, it’s a “psychological issue”

September 12, 2005 @ 8:33 pm | Comment

Richard,

Do you remember when the People’s Daily copied an article out of The Onion a few years ago?

I believe it was a satire that stated something to the effect that the Senate and House of Congress wanted to tear down Capitol Hill because it was too old. It went on and on and it was pretty funny, but anyone with any knowledge of American history would be able to spot it as a satire within the first few lines. However, the People’s Daily took it as real news and copied it verbatim as though they had written it. They looked pretty damn stupid in front of the entire world when it was publicly revealed that it was a satire and that they had stole the story from The Onion.

September 12, 2005 @ 8:33 pm | Comment

But Gordon, according to Math, US news companies do the exact same thing all the time.

The Onion incident was a true classic. Only, only in China.

September 12, 2005 @ 8:35 pm | Comment

Onion’s incident is of course due to the irresponsibility of a few reporters in the Chinese media, which it has taken measures of censure against them and have demoted them. But to be fair, how would Chinese reporters not familiar with American media possibly know the Onion article was fake? I think the responsibility is 80% the reporters and 20% Onion.

September 12, 2005 @ 8:42 pm | Comment

fairness in peking duck blog

fairness in peking duck blog

September 12, 2005 @ 8:52 pm | Comment

should check with zhuanjia why it happens in china daily, is the CD site non-commerical? it might be the norm that non-commercial media could use other’s aarticle without advance permission from the writer. not sure.

September 12, 2005 @ 8:57 pm | Comment

fairness in peking duck blog

fairness in peking duck blog

September 12, 2005 @ 8:58 pm | Comment

You can’t ask a robot to buzz off. All you can do is pull out his batteries.

Posted by Ivan at September 12, 2005 08:11 PM

————

Keir, I am trying to be a fair and decent host. He hasn’t attacked anyone personally ……….

Posted by richard at September 12, 2005 07:02 PM

September 12, 2005 @ 8:59 pm | Comment

should check with zhuanjia why it happens in china daily, is the CD site non-commerical? it might be the norm that non-commercial media could use other’s aarticle without advance permission from the writer. not sure.

Oh? If that’s the case, then there should be a thorough research into that, perhaps in this case the article was not protected by copyright laws and thus is in public domain? Some Chinese here please do some research, hope to hear good news from that!

September 12, 2005 @ 9:01 pm | Comment

mr. who,

that’s an interesting point.

a lot of peoples like richard, martyn and me cited others’ article in our own blogs, what’s the difference between our practice and CD’s practice if CD site is non-commercial.

sincere question and i have no interest in defending CD or chinese media.

September 12, 2005 @ 9:08 pm | Comment

Bingfeng, the difference is that Richard, Martyn and others acknowledged the sources of their story.

September 12, 2005 @ 9:10 pm | Comment

in early 2000, i have studied the internet IPR laws in the US and found the field was a wild west, a lot of confusions, test and cowboy acts

what do you think should be most basic norms be applied in chinese internet media?

September 12, 2005 @ 9:13 pm | Comment

Fat Cat, that’s a distinction Bingfeng might not be able to understand. It’s so subtle.

Previous commenter: I think the responsibility is 80% the reporters and 20% Onion.

Now this is something I’d love to hear more about. Why would you give The Onion 20 percent of the blame? Please, share with us!

September 12, 2005 @ 9:16 pm | Comment

Bingfeng, the difference is that Richard, Martyn and others acknowledged the sources of their story.

Posted by Fat Cat at September 12, 2005 09:10 PM

——————

An anti-discrimination bout staged in China’s cyberspace
By Sophie Beach (EastSouthWestNorth Forum)
Updated: 2005-09-12 09:57

——————

i find the ESWN name appears in that CD article, indicating the source

September 12, 2005 @ 9:16 pm | Comment

what do you think should be most basic norms be applied in chinese
internet media?

Complete attribution. No piracy. If you borrow from another media/blog/whatever, include a link.

September 12, 2005 @ 9:18 pm | Comment

i find the ESWN name appears in that CD article, indicating the source

Darling, I believe the CD article ripped off verbatim copy from Sophie Beach’s China Digital Times article, with no attribution. Try again, dear apologists.

September 12, 2005 @ 9:21 pm | Comment

richard,

i understand the CD innocently or deliberately makes the ESWN article look like an article written by CD staff, but what about ESWN article itself, it was translated by ESWN from Nanfang Daily, but everywhere takes the credit to ESWN, as if ESWN writes the article himself

so what is the line between “unacceptable” and “acceptable”?

September 12, 2005 @ 9:23 pm | Comment

Previous commenter: I think the responsibility is 80% the reporters and 20% Onion.

Now this is something I’d love to hear more about. Why would you give The Onion 20 percent of the blame? Please, share with us!

Well, first, our reporter is indeed at most of the fault here, and as I said before, I trust that China Daily has taken measures to censure him/her.

Why is Onion has 20% of blame? Well, as a well-read comic newspaper in the US, the Onion’s editors should be fully aware that their articles may also be read by a large internationanl audience. And due to the unfamiliarity with the “comedy”-nature of American society, some of those audience, especially if their English knowledge is limited to literal understanding (as opposed to reading between the lines), it is quite conceivable that those readers may confuse that article with a real one and thus cause an incident like copying it in as a real piece of news.

So as responsible editors, the Onion should have taken steps to either explicitly make it clear that the newspaper is fake. But I believe if you pick up an Onion today, it’ll be very very hard to tell it’s a fake newspaper unless you have lived in America for a long time.

September 12, 2005 @ 9:24 pm | Comment

so the sin of CD site is not publishing the ESWN article, but not giving a link to the original article (sophie beach, EWSN and nanfang daily)

so next time i cite an article like this, i must give links to China Digital News, EWSN and Nanfang Daily, right?

September 12, 2005 @ 9:32 pm | Comment

so the sin of CD site is not publishing the ESWN article, but not giving a link to the original article (sophie beach, EWSN and nanfang daily)

I believe the word “sin” is too strong. It has religious colors. Please do not try to inflame a reporter who is probably an intern and just made a mistake, if we shut the doors for him/her right now, will it not be too cruel. I’m sure he/she has learned the lesson and will be more careful in denoting sources next time.

Some famous person said once “When young people commit wrongs, even God will forgive them.”

September 12, 2005 @ 9:36 pm | Comment

Mr Who,
Satire is a long-accepted literary form. It’s mentioned in every single Chinese writing or literature textbook that I’ve taught at college level. Whilst it may be hard for a non-native reader to spot, it is not impossible.
Those who copied the article should have checked for some corroborating evidence first if they didn’t want to make fools of themselves.

There is a cultural difference going on here. In traditional Chinese society one who is educated is one who copies from the classics, the masters. In traditional Western thinking one who is educated is one who thinks for him/herself.
Foreign experts who come to lecture at Chinese universities are constantly flabergasted by the amount of copying and plagiarism they find going on among their students, but I’ve found that once I explain to my students the difference in philosophy and the process of referencing quotations and sources they usually manage to adapt to the new system.

I’m not an expert in journalism, so I’m afraid that I can’t comment there.

September 12, 2005 @ 9:46 pm | Comment

thanks, Mr. Who

the blame should go to CD management, who neglect such important media ethics

but still i am a little confused by the norms we follow in the virtual world

what if i use a lot of others’ articles in my blog and follow the “norms” quite well, and at the same time turn my blog into a commercial one without paying any fee to the articles i cited? is it moral or not?

September 12, 2005 @ 9:46 pm | Comment

I’m sorry but the name The Onion should be the first dead giveaway that it is meant to be a satirical publication. Or is it just me that has more than her fair share of healthy cynism?

I’m no journalist major but even I know that the key to top grade reporting is to look beyond the surface and to investigate the actual event especially when something seems suspcious, never mind ludicruous, at first glance instead of accepting the source of the news without question or hesitation.

To my mind this is just another example of the chronic slip shod, suibian work attitude so that I have to deal with everyday.

September 12, 2005 @ 9:48 pm | Comment

I think CD should sue The Onion for mental suffering inflicted on them. It is very clear that The Onion should have put up a huge warning banner on their site saying something like:”Warning! Believing this story and copying it into your newspaper will make you look like an idiot.”

September 12, 2005 @ 9:54 pm | Comment

About fees, I can’t say, and I have made no statement about that. But to copy verbatim text while giving readers no hint that you are cutting and pasting the words of others — that is a big no-no, and any professional journalist will tell you it is utterly, totally and unequivocally unacceptable. But that won’t stop some here from defending it, as it is merely journalism with Chinese chacteristics.

This story, by the way, is from Danwei, which tends to cut the CCP a lot more slack than I do. Do you think Danwei is wrong in pointing this incident out as an example of unprofessionalism and stating the following:

Those loveable editors at the state-owned China Daily’s website just can’t resist the copy and paste method of content creation. They have once again copied an entire article from a blog, this time from Hong Kong’s hyperactively prolific ESWN. The article was originally titled “The Most Popular Forum Post Ever In China”, and renamed “An anti-discrimination bout staged in China’s cyberspace” by the China Daily.

The article is credited to “Sophie Beach (EastSouthWestNorth Forum)” โ€” Sophie Beach writes for China Digital Times, which excerpted ESWN’s article; ESWN is a blog, not a forum. But the China Daily has never worried too much about facts, those pesky things

Are they being unfair? You see, even those who have sympathy with the CCP realize this is a blatant and somewhat bizarre breach of traditional journalistic ethics. You can spin around and try to defend it, but anyone who knows the first thing about journalism will be laughing his head off. This is something you just don’t do. Period.

September 12, 2005 @ 9:55 pm | Comment

dishuiguanyin, the “cultural differences” you have pointed out is not accurate. China does pay more respect to past scholars and renowned writings than the West, yet that does not mean that copying is condoned. Even in ancient Chinese, there were very severe punishment dealt to plagiarizers. And in the 21st century, Chinese youths are fully capable of independent thinking and research, and to suggest otherwise is a disrespect to Chinese education and the Chinese students as a whole.

September 12, 2005 @ 10:00 pm | Comment

China does pay more respect to past scholars and renowned writings than the West,

Proof, please. I remember some Chinese emperors and leaders destroying books and banning them. Hitler burned books and so do some fringe evangelical groups, but all in all the West has given great works of literature incredible respect, the great libraries of Europe being treasure troves of intellectual ferment. Why do you say the Chinese “pay more respcet to past scholars” than the west? I really want some details here.

September 12, 2005 @ 10:11 pm | Comment

like the CD site, richard cites the danwei’s name but fails to give us the link to that danwei article, is it OK or not?

yes, we certainly have a higher standard for media like CD, but the line sometimes is really blurred

still hope to hear other’s comments on “fee issue”

September 12, 2005 @ 10:13 pm | Comment

Bingfeng, my dear friend, the danwei link is in MY ORIGINAL POST above. My God, the stuff I have to go through dealing with ….well, put in whatever word you want.

Can you please use your mind, just a little bit, and think critically?

September 12, 2005 @ 10:15 pm | Comment

Proof, please. I remember some Chinese emperors and leaders destroying books and banning them. Hitler burned books and so do some fringe evangelical groups, but all in all the West has given great works of literature incredible respect, the great libraries of Europe being treasure troves of intellectual ferment. Why do you say the Chinese “pay more respcet to past scholars” than the west? I really want some details here.

Perhaps you are not too familiar with Chinese history. Throughout Chinese history, there were 4 pillars of thoughts espoused by 4 great scholars, whose heritage form large part of Chinese culture. They are namely, Kong Zi, Lao Zi, Meng Zi, Zhaung Zi. Then there are also secondary scholars such as Meng Zi and Han Fei Zi. Each of them left the Chinese people with an inexhaustible amount of writings on philosophy and society that are a part of the treasures of the human civilization. And quotes/passages from those writings are highly respected and quoted, and those scholars had always been upheld to be the utmost thinkers, on the same level as Socrates of the West. There are also thousands of Chinese poets with a total of tens of thousands of poems in recorded history, and so on and on….

Overall, the world is a diverse place, and respecting each other’s culture is integral to the harmony and peace of today’s world. As we know the themes of the 21st century is peace and development, and in order for peace and development to prevail, there needs to be a solid foundation of mutual understanding and mutual exchanges.

September 12, 2005 @ 10:22 pm | Comment

Typical West way thinking about China, grab a few bad cases and then generalizing it is a norm in China. So there are a few bad things about CD, and now it is the most incompetent, lazy faux journalists who ever lived? What a joke.

Same probably could be said about China’s coverage of US though.

September 12, 2005 @ 10:26 pm | Comment

I know all about the poets and scholars. But I also know of documented examples of these great books being destroyed by Chinese leaders, from ther first Qin emperor to Mao. I know of no such examples in the West aside from Hitler.

Wawa, the CD stories are rich and bountiful, and there are so many of them. It’s not a matter of one or two. The web version is the laughingstock of the jouralistic world. Sory, if you want to praise China Daily you expose yourself to a lot of ridicule.

September 12, 2005 @ 10:31 pm | Comment

I know all about the poets and scholars. But I also know of documented examples of these great books being destroyed by Chinese leaders, from ther first Qin emperor to Mao. I know of no such examples in the West aside from Hitler.

The Burning of the Books by Qin has been uniformly denounced by all historians in China, including the current Chinese government. And the “Criticize Confucious” campaign was also an admitted mistake by the extremist leftist policies by Chairman Mao, the Chinese government, in its “Some Decisions on Certain Historical Problems” document passed in 1981, has had very conclusive historical evaluations for the “Criticize Confucious Campaign” by Chairman Mao.

So there’s no sense to cling to some old historical problems which we have already given conclusive evaluations to, to do so would be dogmatic and unreasoable.

September 12, 2005 @ 10:37 pm | Comment

Dear Mr Hu, I agree with you that Chinese youths are fully capable of independent thinking and research. That’s why, like Dianshuiguanyin, I’m totally perplexed by the amount of plagiarism that’s going on among my international students from China.

Bingfeng, the line between citation and plagiarism is very clearcut, regardless of whether it is academic writing, journalistic writing or web posting. It is not so much a legal issue as to whether a certain piece of writing posted on the web is protected by copyright law. But rather, it is a case of ethics and good practices. Ultimately, it is a question of integrity.

September 12, 2005 @ 10:39 pm | Comment

They may have denounced it — but did it happen? Did the first Chinese emperor burn books? Yessum! Did Mao destroy books? Yep indeedy! How many US leaders burned books? I await your response eagerly. And I’m still waiting for you to back up your original statement that China surpasses the US in its appreciation of great works of literature. So much so that it’s two most prominent leaders burned those very works? ๐Ÿ™‚ What is your historical basis for such a fantastical statement?

September 12, 2005 @ 10:42 pm | Comment

Thank you, Fat Cat. And once again, these subtle distinctions will, I fear, escape some of my more obtuse commenters.

September 12, 2005 @ 10:43 pm | Comment

Bingfeng,

A standard method of determining whether citing is acceptable:

1. Source clearly stated
2. Quoted material is clear (won’t be confused with rest of article)
3. Material is QUOTED, rather than outright copied. (i.e., there is incentive to look at original source).

The CD articles cited here fail all three. The sources aren’t clear, when they’re mentioned at all. We couldn’t tell what is the reporter’s writing versus the original article. The articles were reproduced in whole.

The third one can be violated if you’ve paid them (AP, AFP, these types of articles are subscribed to, and are reproduced nearly whole). Otherwise, you are stealing from that person (ad revenue, hits), even if you’re not making money.

September 12, 2005 @ 10:52 pm | Comment

They may have denounced it — but did it happen? Did the first Chinese emperor burn books? Yessum! Did Mao destroy books? Yep indeedy! How many US leaders burned books? I await your response eagerly. And I’m still waiting for you to back up your original statement that China surpasses the US in its appreciation of great works of literature. So much so that it’s two most prominent leaders burned those very works? ๐Ÿ™‚ What is your historical basis for such a fantastical statement?

What has happened in the past has happened.There’s no sense to cling to some old historical problems which we have already given conclusive evaluations to, to do so would be dogmatic and unreasoable.

And I think I made it quite clear that there are certain differences in which the Chinese and US cultures treat past cultural heritages, that’s as far as I am going to go.

September 12, 2005 @ 10:52 pm | Comment

Also, richard, there’ve been plenty of groups in the US, and the West in general who have burned/banned books. (Inquisition, anyone?) That they’ve usually been religious leaders rather than political ones is probably most telling. Book burning is for “moral” and “religious” leaders… which the Nazis, Communists, and Chinese emperors are all versions of.

September 12, 2005 @ 10:58 pm | Comment

I haven’t read CD for a long time, so I don’t really know what it is like nowadays.

But just to comment on this incident, I don’t see CD credit itself for the story, but rather that it credited “Sophie Beach” which excerpted ESWN’s article. So what is the big fuss about it? Where is plagiarism here? I’m not a journalists, but as an ordinary person, I don’t see this is so wrong that it need to be riduculed about. Does journalist need to track down all the exerpts in an article and credit them seperately? Is that a norm in US?

September 12, 2005 @ 11:00 pm | Comment

Also… a neat idea would be a timeline of important books. Putting, say, a dot at the year when an important book was written. The bigger the dot, the more important the book/the more it was studied.

I would also love to compare the West vs. the East on this. I feel like China would have massive dots when the 五经 were published, and a big gap. The West would have a crapload of little dots (with a big dot around 1AD).

September 12, 2005 @ 11:03 pm | Comment

Thanks Sean, you are spot on.

I love this from Wawa. First he makes the bold assertion, “China does pay more respect to past scholars and renowned writings than the West.” When pinned down and forced to face up to historical evidence, what does he suddenly say?

What has happened in the past has happened.There’s no sense to cling to some old historical problems which we have already given conclusive evaluations to…

Quite a change it tune from 20 minutes ago! ๐Ÿ™‚

Looks like Bingfeng took off after he accused me of not linking to danwei (even though I did). It can be quite an experience, trying to argue with people who can never just admit they were wrong. (Apologies in advance, Bingfeng, if you just stepped away to get something to eat.)

September 12, 2005 @ 11:23 pm | Comment

I love this from Wawa. First he makes the bold assertion, “China does pay more respect to past scholars and renowned writings than the West.” When pinned down and forced to face up to historical evidence, what does he suddenly say?

I believe I said that, don’t blame it on someone else. I am honest enough to take responsibilities for my own words.

September 12, 2005 @ 11:45 pm | Comment

I’m sorry, but anyone who cannot identify The Onion as obvious satire has no business being a journalist in any country. Honestly, who would believe headlines such as:

“Jews Ordered Back to Egypt for Pyramid Duty”

“Mother Teresa Sent to Hell in Wacky Afterlife Mix-Up”

“Clinton Deploys Vowels To Bosnia”

“Civil War Enthusiasts Burn Atlanta to Ground”

“Microsoft Patents Ones, Zeroes”

“Christ Announces Hiring of Associate Christ”

“Skippy Courts $8 billion Whale Market with Plankton-Flavored Peanut Butter”

“Taco Bell Launches New ‘Morning After’ Contraceptive Burrito”

(Yes, I love The Onion!)

September 12, 2005 @ 11:46 pm | Comment

Richard must be on drugs when he put those words posted by someone else in my mouth.

As for the orion satire, it is obvious whoever put it on CD made a mistake, whether he/she has business being a journalist in any country is not for us to decide, just think about all the stupid mistakes we have made in our lifes …………..

September 13, 2005 @ 9:02 am | Comment

wawa, if I misattributed a quote I apologize. That doesn’t take anything away from the “points” you were making, and I did not misquote those.

whether he/she has business being a journalist in any country is not for us to decide,

Sure it is. If we see bad journalism — I mean, blatant theft of the words of others presented in a manner to intentionally influence ignoarant readers to believe they were written by the reporter — that is seriously bad journalism, and we have a right to feel and express that any journalist under any circumstances who commits this sin knowingly and deliberately should be tossed from the profession at once. This isn’t a “mistake,” it’s a black-and-white breach of industry ethics and grounds for immediate dismissal at any repuitable news organization. Do we not demand any standards at all of those in the media? We sure do in America, where pilferers are exposed, ridiculed, fired and humiliated. Unfortunately, some like Blair also end up neeting a lucrative book deal, but that’s the price of a free society.

September 13, 2005 @ 9:11 am | Comment

Richard, please refresh my memory what points I was making when you quoted someone else’s comment? Somehow I think today is still Monday.

September 13, 2005 @ 9:18 am | Comment

Wawa, again, cut the crap. It’s all in the thread. If you don’t see it, let’s just move on. Thank you.

September 13, 2005 @ 9:24 am | Comment

LMAO.

September 13, 2005 @ 9:31 am | Comment

Hi guys, sorry to join this debate so late but I’ve been on my sickbed. As someone who works for a certain Chinese newspaper I can tell you that they do not generally hire experienced journalists. As I’ve mentoned on my blog they use English “polishers” who have minimal experience but who have passed a writing test. There are a few experienced journos here, but we have little say in day to day editorial matters or the direction of the paper.
Yes, there is a habit of plagiarism, but I think it is done out of ignorance rather than design. People here simply don’t think of it as particularly bad, more like flattery. If enough people complain about it, they will probably stop doing it.
Thirdly, and as I’ve already pointed out on my blog, they also just make stuff up. This tends to be done on the lighter material rather than the news. Before you all jump in, I’ve seen this happen on UK papers too – it’s just laziness.
The main reason why Chinese newspapers are like this is that they are unaccountable. There is no identifiable editor and no “media watch” culture here. They are run by the Ministry of Information, formerly propaganda, and that is the ultimate purpose they serve: to support the party. Not a big surprise really?
They do take their image quite seriously, and I think if they received letters and criticism from international bodies then they might wake up to what they are doing.
Oh, and the website of a certain newspaper is completely separate from the print edition, which in general has much tighter editorial standards.

September 13, 2005 @ 8:16 pm | Comment

richard,

i was out with work with my customers until late night.

you are right that CD’s conduct was not professional and moral, what i was trying to do is to get deeper into an issue thjat i am interested in

as i said, there are still a lot of gery areas here and i would like to contiue to explore

September 13, 2005 @ 8:19 pm | Comment

where is the line?

where is the line?

September 13, 2005 @ 8:46 pm | Comment

About the journalism I’ll listen to Zhuan Jia since he actually has the practical experience.
About the cultural-difference comment I made which upset Mr Who, sorry I didn’t reply earlier. Like bingfeng I was distracted by work commitments.
I would like to apologise to Mr Who because I really didn’t express my theories clearly enough. I shouldn’t have expressed independent thought as a “result of” education, but more as a “method of” education.

We all know that in recent years the Chinese government has been working on shifting the emphasis of the University Entrance Exam away from “rote-memorization” and more towards “encouraging some independent thought”. However, I feel that the whole Chinese education system always did and still does place much more emphasis on learning-by-memorization/copying than any Western education system does.
Now that’s not to say that teachers in the West never ask their students to copy notes from the textbook or to memorize something. They do. I’ve done it myself. But it’s generally considered to be more of a discipline technique than a learning tool.
In China I’ve talked to several senior teachers who consider memorization and copying to be a very effective learning tool. Obviously they don’t consider it to be the only learning tool, but it is an important teaching method for them. And having witnessed the results from their students, I’d have to agree that to some extent it does work.
When it comes to talking about Chinese history, I apologise because I’m not an expert, but as far as I’m aware the Official Examination System was based firmly upon the four great classic writers that Mr Who mentioned above. In the examination candidates had to write a long essay which contained their own original thought, but which was grounded very thoroughly in those classic writers. Hence, I presume, when studying for the exams a large amount of time was spent in memorizing portions of the classic writers.

September 14, 2005 @ 2:27 am | Comment

where is the line?

where is the line?

September 15, 2005 @ 1:32 am | Comment

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