China’s English-language television news channel, CCTV, reported on Wednesday’s 12th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to Chinese rule (July 1st).
I remember watching the transfer ceremony back in 1997 when I was news director of WAGE-AM in Leesburg, Virginia.
Watching two of CCTV’s news broadcasts today, I saw lots of celebrations and was told of survey results suggesting how a majority of Hong Kong residents feel “more Chinese” today than ever before. The pageantry was spectacular.
I’ve learned, however, that it’s not what you see, but what you don’t see with CCTV.
The BBC World Service reports on its website that “Tens of thousands of people have marched in Hong Kong to push for more democracy on the 12th anniversary of the city’s transfer to Chinese rule.”
There’s no mention of this march on CCTV’s news broadcasts or on its web site.
Another controversial issue has been China’s insistence that new computers come with a pre-installed filtering program called Green Dam. Critics, of course, say it’s part of a continuing effort to control China’s Internet access and makes computers vulnerable to hackers.
Today’s news reports tell us that there has been a delay in installing Green Dam. Why? The report placed the blame on computer companies that “needed more time.” Also, Green Dam was called an “anti-pornography” software in two different broadcasts. Makes it sound like a good thing, huh?
I’m not saying that CCTV is a sham. In fact, there are some pretty good stories on there, and the broadcasts are usually interesting and informative. The perspective is certainly different from the ones we get back in the states (the issue of Tibet comes to mind).
But I’m finding this to be a valuable experience, and I find myself asking what we should also be asking when consuming the U.S. media — “What’s missing here?”