Chinese Weekly Falls For Another Spoof, This One Claiming Kim Jong-un’s Missile Launch Was Delayed By Windows Glitch

21st Century Business Herald falls for missile launch spoof
The lovably gullible editors at 21st Century Business Herald must really hate the genre of satire now. Just last month, this Guangzhou-based business weekly, one of the largest in the country, fell for a spoof on the website The Daily Currant claiming that Paul Krugman had gone backrupt. Very recently, they bit the bait again, this time dangled by The Borowitz Report.

CCTV Falls For Virgin Atlantic’s April Fools Joke

Virgin glass-bottomed airplanes
Of course Chinese media was going to fall for an April Fools joke. But we expected Beijing News to bite it, or People's Daily, or 21st Century Herald (similarity: they've all been duped before, e.g., here and here). But CCTV, a television channel that, presumably, has researchers, copyeditors, producers and news anchors? That is to say, a terraced newsroom of professionally trained reporters and de factor fact-checkers?

German TV Crew Attacked In Hebei Province Just Outside Of Beijing

ARD German TV crew attacked by thugs
The Foreign Correspondents Club of China recently got wind of an assault on a German TV crew yesterday in Hebei province and published this statement: The crew, belonging to ARD television, narrowly avoided serious injury when two men attacked their vehicle with baseball bats, shattering the windscreen, after a high speed chase down a major... Read more »

Illustrious China Correspondents Powwow As Asia Society Launches New Blog, ChinaFile

ChinaFile
A maraschino cherry has just been dropped into the Long Island iced tea of the China blogosphere, as Asia Society officially launched its new blog, ChinaFile, on Tuesday. The occasion was highlighted by a panel discussion in New York moderated by legendary China hand Orville Schell, featuring New York Times correspondents of past and present: Seymour Topping (who covered... Read more »

China Rises One Spot In Latest Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index, Ranks 173 Out Of 179

Press Freedom Index 2013
Do journalists in China really face a tougher environment than Vietnam, Cuba, Sudan, Yemen, Laos? According to the French non-profit Reporters Without Borders (RSF), yes. China (173rd, +1) shows no sign of improving. Its prisons still hold many journalists and netizens, while increasingly unpopular Internet censorship continues to be a major obstacle to access to information. In its... Read more »

Understanding Jackie Chan, Chinese Nationalism, And Double Standards In English Media

Jackie Chan
In a December interview on a Phoenix TV talk show, Jackie Chan made comments that Western media have recently described as "anti-American" -- ...really? I think his comments regarding America are immature, but they're not without reason. What a lot of reporting has ignored is that Chan was speaking in Chinese on a Chinese television channel, and the message he was delivering to a Chinese audience was this: “Yes, China has flaws, but if you talk about our country's shortcomings with foreigners, they'll misinterpret the message.”

Reuters Interviews Rich Crank, Concludes Luxury Bikes Are Cool In Greater China

Reuters bike story featured image
Foreign commissioning editors get a lot of pitches like this: “The Chinese are now watching Homeland / eating caviar / behaving like us.” These activities usually owe to the fact that a few ultra-wealthy Chinese have found some new, pointlessly expensive Western habit — like high-end gold hi-fi aficionado clubs, or bottles of purified Moon water... Read more »

Journalists Are Threatening Boycotts, Calling For Protests Over Southern Weekly Incident

Go Southern Weekly
It began as a strongly worded letter. When journalists at the Guangdong daily paper Southern Weekly returned to work on Thursday to find a section had been altered by a propagandist — headline changed, article replaced — they published an open letter demanding “an investigation into the incident.” They named names, in particular accusing Guangdong propaganda chief Tuo Zhen of... Read more »

How Do You Feel About China’s English-Language News? Let People’s Daily Know!

People's Daily survey 2
People’s Daily Online is openly soliciting feedback for China’s English-language newspapers, using language that doesn’t even try to conceal the fact that papers such as China Daily and Global Times might be affiliated with the government. This is the shocking part, of course. Those of us familiar with China know how complicated the media environment... Read more »

New York Times Reporter Chris Buckley Denied Visa Renewal, Forced To Leave China [UPDATE]

NY Times logo
New York Times correspondent Chris Buckley, 45, who has worked in China since September 2000, formerly with Reuters, was denied a visa renewal and is now off the mainland. As NYT reports: “I regret that Chris Buckley has been forced to relocate outside of China despite our repeated requests to renew his journalist visa,” Jill... Read more »

Let Us Recall That Chinese Satire Has Fooled Western Media Outlets (And James Cameron) As Well

Kim Jong-Un and the Onion
Earlier this year, I gave a lecture to high school journalism students in China about the importance of citation, spending a good 10 minutes on the how and why of it. This may or may not surprise you, depending on whether you read Chinese publications and/or crappy blogs, but sourcing is often optional here; what’s... Read more »

Woman Of The Hour, Andrea Yu, Is Actually Andrea Hodgkinson, Magazine Cover Girl [UPDATE]

Andrea Hodgkinson Yu
This story just gets more interesting by the minute. Via @fightcensorship, we've learned that Andrea Yu will be appearing on the cover of the November 16 issue of Oriental BQ Weekly Magazine. The red letters read: "Australia watches the 18th National Congress," and on the second line, "Andi," which is the Chinese rendering of Andrea. "Hodgkinson" is Yu's real (given?) surname.

Stephen McDonnell Gave Andrea Yu, Star Bilingual “Reporter,” A Firsthand Lesson In Journalism, And It’s Not Pretty

Andrea Yu
Yesterday, while writing about an Australian reporter who had become somewhat of a Chinese Internet star because of her Mandarin-speaking ability, I was most struck by something she said in English. At a press conference inside the Great Hall of the People, she mentioned she was representing "Global CAMG Media International." I googled that phrase and found no results on the first page. The closest match was "CAMH," which is completely different. That should've sent up a red flag, instead of a yellow one. But this was still the early stages of the story, and the news seemed to be the question itself, not the identity of the questioner, so I went ahead with the post.

CCTV Reporter Suffers Total Brain Meltdown During Live Interview About National Congress [UPDATE]

Oops
This interview never gets off on the right foot: the lag between the anchor and the reporter is a full five seconds, causing the anchor to make a “Why haven’t you acknowledged my greeting?” face. Reporter Feng Yuxian, live from Dubai (that’s the Dubai Tower Burj Al-Arab Hotel in the background), then delivers her correspondence... Read more »

People’s Daily Op-Ed Resorts To Plagiarism To Cast Stones At The New York Times’s Past Plagiarism

Double facepalm
Venerable titans of journalism, People’s Daily, published an attack piece on the New York Times yesterday (in Chinese) accusing the Gray Lady of deteriorating standards and bad breath. “In recent years, there has been an explosion in plagiarism and fabrication by its journalists,” PD writes, highlighting two particular debacles involving infamous plagiarists Jayson Blair and... Read more »

Associated Press Films A PC Desktop Playing Ai Weiwei’s Gangnam Parody, Washington Post Labels It “Raw Video”

AP's "raw video" of Ai Weiwei's Gangnam parody
We have officially just seen what happens when a 120-year-old man time travels from the 1910s to the 2010s and is told to “put that Ai Weiwei Gangnam video on the Internet.” His head doesn’t explode, but we wish it did. Look at the above. Just look at it as you would a Millie Brown... Read more »

Global Times Olympics Journalist Tests Positive For Plagiarism [UPDATE]

Zhao Ran
By Beijing Cream Let’s talk about journalism and the Olympics. No, not the complete indifference given to China’s 96 Paralympics gold medals, but a more familiar problem: plagiarism. A former senior journalist at the Global Times is probably still wondering what the hell hit her, after being caught lifting material and inventing quotes – including a... Read more »