加载中…
个人资料
李希光
李希光
  • 博客等级:
  • 博客积分:0
  • 博客访问:828,309
  • 关注人气:1,644
  • 获赠金笔:0支
  • 赠出金笔:0支
  • 荣誉徽章:
相关博文
推荐博文
谁看过这篇博文
加载中…
正文 字体大小:

真相与偏见

(2011-08-09 07:11:26)
标签:

杂谈

                             Truth and prejudice

                              

                           

       Following the right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik perpetrated the terrorist attacks in Norway two weeks ago, some mainstream media in the West lost no time reporting that the attacks were carried out by the Muslims.

       Commenting about the motives of the attacks, CNN's Tom Lister said, “You've only got to look at the target--prime minister's office, the headquarters of the major newspaper group next door. Why would that be relevant? Because the Norwegian newspapers republished the cartoons of Prophet Mohammad that caused such offense in the Muslim world.... That is an issue that still rankles amongst Islamist militants the world over.”

       Reading the misleading coverage of Oslo bombing, a few media friends started a debate about the function of journalism.

       “Journalism reports the truth,” an editor said.

       “It is an impossible mission for media to report the truth,” a critic said. “Media only report what catch eyeballs.”

       “Journalists have to confirm to the prejudices of their audiences,” another critic said.

       In the wake of the recent railway accident in Wenzhou, the pundits and journalists have been scrambling to justify their prejudices and presumptions. Most of media responded to the tragedy by paying attention to the argument of privatizing the railway and pulling to a full stop of building high-speed railway in China.

       In journalistic theory, any traffic disaster which kills scores of people should be newsworthy. But the Chinese media are very much selective in choosing what makes up a worthy traffic disaster and what makes up an unworthy traffic disaster.

       In today’s Chinese media landscape which is manipulated by different economic and political interest groups, if a news event can be used to attack their enemy, it is a worthy disaster, or a worthy victim, or a worthy corruption. They will be covered prominently. Otherwise they will be buried.

       The high-speed railway is state-owned, any accident have to be newsworthy in the eyes of some interest group. While the previous day bus fire in Henan province, which killed more people than Wenzhou accident, is not worthy reporting because the bus company is privately owned. If there are one million stories for every victim killed in Wenzhou accident, there could be only one story for every victim killed in Henan bus fire.

       The media strongly demanded releasing the names of those killed in Wenzhou. But the media never demanded the bus company give out the names of dead bus passengers. The media attacked the Ministry of Railway for paying only 910,000 yuan for each killed. But the media never reported how much the bus company paid for each killed. Every year in China, about 100,000 people are killed by the highway while only 167 (including those people killed in Wenzhou) were killed over the last ten years by the railway. It is a universe of difference in media attitude toward the two kinds of victims.

       Economist Edward S. Herman and linguist Noam Chomsky note two categories of victims in their book Manufacturing Consent, which holds that media coverage differs between two types of victims: worthy victims and unworthy victims. Worthy victims, who merit lavish attention and concern, are those whose fate can be attributed to an enemy. Unworthy victims, whose fate cannot be attributed to an enemy so they are ignored and buried.

       It is now a common practice for many Chinese media to jump to reporting their “truth” before made any solid interviews and complete investigation. Media coverage of Wenzhou railway accident have universally attacked China’s plan for developing high-speed railway. They suggested that the state-ownership of railway was the cause of the accident. Some biased media believe that it is less important to make accurate reporting than to destroy the reputation of Chinese high-speed railway by using hate journalism. So far, some media joined by the interest group they represent have successfully launched a crusade against high-speed railway and left people an impression that the high-speed railway represents an apocalypse of the world. “Rise up, people who do not want to be the slaves of high-speed railway,” a newspaper headline reads.

       By giving graphic accounts of the details of the bloody scenes, the dead bodies and other horrible pictures, the media have created a high-speed railway phobia not only among the public, but also among the government officials and leaders. The daunting coverage overwhelmed the Chinese leaders. Despite his illness, the premier came to Wenzhou to meet the press and to show his solicitude with the victims and their families. But the Chinese leaders did not come to Henan to visit the families of the victims and did not meet the press in Henan to make an explanation.

        It is all quite sad to see that the both the public and the government leaders being dazed by the sensational coverage of a railway accident.

0

阅读 收藏 禁止转载 喜欢 打印举报/Report
  

新浪BLOG意见反馈留言板 电话:4000520066 提示音后按1键(按当地市话标准计费) 欢迎批评指正

新浪简介 | About Sina | 广告服务 | 联系我们 | 招聘信息 | 网站律师 | SINA English | 会员注册 | 产品答疑

新浪公司 版权所有