Journalism

Competitors in a cross-country skiing event at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, National Cross-Country Centre, Zhangjiakou, China, 16 February 2022. (Lindsey Wasson/Reuters)

Media coverage of Beijing Winter Olympics shows parallel worlds

It seems that the Chinese and foreign media have very different approaches to covering the Beijing Winter Olympics — Chinese journalists want to portray the favourable side of the Games while foreign journalists tend to take a more critical stand in focusing on problems. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu examines this phenomenon.
This photo taken on 6 January 2022 shows a vendor sorting newspapers at a newsstand in Hong Kong. (Peter Parks/AFP)

As HK pro-democracy media exits the scene, mainland media swoops in

The media landscape in Hong Kong is facing great upheaval, following the closures of prominent pro-democracy media such as Apple Daily and Stand News. Hong Kong pro-democracy media refugees have since taken their work overseas but few believe commentaries from afar can fill the gap of public discussion left in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, mainland-friendly media are looking to gain a greater foothold. Tai Hing Shing surveys the situation.
Police are seen outside the Stand News office building, in Hong Kong, China, 29 December 2021. (Tyrone Siu/File Photo/Reuters)

Stand News closure and the vanishing voice of HK’s pan-democrats

With the latest closure of pro-democracy media Stand News and the demise of Apple Daily, analysts see diminishing avenues for free expression in Hong Kong. The intense clampdown on media outlets in the territory in recent months has led to widespread concerns over a total demise of the free press in Hong Kong. Zaobao’s China Desk looks into the issue.
Media staff work next to screens showing live images of Chinese President Xi Jinping speaking during the opening ceremony of the China International Import Expo (CIIE), at the media center of the Expo in Shanghai, China on 4 November 2021. (AFP)

Interference in China’s media industry: Even Global Times editor Hu Xijin ‘cannot stand it’

China celebrates Journalists’ Day on 8 November every year. While Chinese media practitioners posted their reflections on social media, Global Times editor Hu Xijin laments increasing interference from government departments and local governments in media work. As the function of Chinese media as a mouthpiece is strongly emphasised, would Journalists’ Day have to be called “Mouthpiece Day” instead?
A woman walks past a decorated board with images of Tiananmen Gate and the Chinese national flag, marking the 100th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of China, at a hi-tech industrial park in Beijing, China, 23 June 2021. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Chinese butting heads with Western media: Irrational nationalism or deeds of justice?

Yang Danxu observes that the Chinese are becoming more confident about refuting Western media reports they deem erroneous or biased. This stems from recent events such as growing US-China antagonism, China’s rise and even some goading on by the authorities. But if unleashed in a vacuum, nationalist sentiment can be a dangerous sword that ends up hurting the one who wields it.
A girl uses a mobile phone as she rests on a bench in Beijing, China, on 4 March 2021. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

A former Singapore journalist remembers a very different China in the 1980s

Former journalist Teo Han Wue chuckles as he recalls his first assignment in China covering an international Confucianism conference in Qufu, Confucius’ hometown in Shandong. Telecommunications facilities then were a far cry from the advances in 5G or AI that China enjoys now. Even sending a facsimile was a comedy of errors.
US President Donald Trump turns away and departs as reporters try to ask questions after the president made an announcement about US trade relations with China and Hong Kong in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, US, on 29 May 2020. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

A divided America is losing its footing in the Cold War with China

Dr Peter Chang says the US is fighting a Cold War with China as well as a culture war with itself, marked by deep polarisation and vindictiveness. Some US media seem less vigilant about telling China's side of the story, fuelling a narrative that reinforces a fear of China. Chang opines that this disturbing silence could make American journalism complicit in worsening the domestic and global situation. While the US battles to maintain global dominance, he feels it is best that smaller countries and powers stay centred to help the world achieve its much-needed balance.
Journalists at the daily press briefing of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing, March 18, 2020. (Thomas Peter/REUTERS)

US journalists expelled: Diplomatic clash or press freedom in downward spiral?

Following the US labelling China state-owned media organisations in the US as “foreign operatives” and limiting US-based Chinese media staff, China has retaliated by expelling US journalists from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. Yang Danxu and Norman Yik examine how this might affect China-US relations, the “one country, two systems” policy, and press freedom in China.
The Chinese language media industry faces challenges from several directions. (iStock)

Chinese media companies' quest for survival

How can Chinese newspaper media companies outside of China survive the internet age? Is the perceived decline of quality journalism just a problem for news media companies to solve? Is there an elixir for immortality that can re-energise and sustain the life of good journalism? Head of Singapore Press Holdings’ Chinese Media Group Lee Huay Leng touched on these topics and more in her acceptance speech upon receiving the award for outstanding contributions to the media industry (星云真善美传播奖杰出贡献奖). The event was held in Singapore on 24 November 2019.