Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, January 15th, 2019 - 70 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, articles, China, human rights, jacinda ardern, journalism, Media, newspapers, Politics, Propaganda, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: henry cooke, laura walters
Stuff has reported that its opponent, the New Zealand Herald, has via its Chinese version amended stories to make them more acceptable to the Chinese Government.
From Henry Cooke and Laura Walters at Stuff:
The Chinese edition of the NZ Herald edited translated articles from the NZ Herald to put a better light on the Chinese government.
It has also omitted articles entirely that discuss the Chinese Government in a negative way, in one case taking a much more sanitised version from a Chinese wire service.
The Chinese NZ Herald is the result of a 2016 joint venture between NZME, which own the NZ Herald, and long-running Chinese publication The Chinese Herald. The website and WeChat channel, which use the NZ Herald branding, feature both translated pieces from the English-language Herald, articles from the Chinese Herald, and stories from other Chinese news sources.
But several pieces translated for the website omit information that would make the Chinese government uncomfortable.
The examples mentioned are quite topical. One omitted the fact that a robbery victim was a Falun Gong follower. Another sanitised an article about Chinese Government critic Anne-Marie Brady and took out critical comments made by her and by Jacinda Ardern. And almost none of the reporting of Brady’s analysis was translated or reported by the Chinese NZ Herald.
The Herald said that the issues had been discussed with their Chinese counterparts. Editor Shayne Currie said this:
We made clear to the Chinese NZ Herald that all articles from the NZ Herald must be fully and accurately translated, and we have been given assurances on this …
Operationally, it is over to the editor of the Chinese NZ Herald as to which NZ Herald articles he and his editorial team wish to translate. It is also the Chinese NZ Herald’s call as to which articles it sources from other agencies.”
This is not something new. Commercial interests have for years affected the reporting of news. It is no surprise that the Chinese Government would want to do the same. And the media needs every dollar it can get.
But we still have this expectation that news is reported fearlessly and without favour. And without distortion.
And that the really difficult stories are reported properly. And that we are told what is going on. So that when we exercise our democratic rights we do so from a fully informed basis.
Although on Twitter toad has a point.