- Language Tips
Call for objective reporting
A bridge in Sanmenxia city of Henan province collapsed after a truck carrying 600 large packages of fireworks exploded on Feb 8, killing 10 people and injuring 11. But one report, instead of focusing on the accident and the victims, praised local officials' rescue operations and somewhat ignored the tragedy itself, triggering a strong response from the public, says an article in Beijing News. Excerpts:
The central government recently asked journalists to "change their writing style" and show concern for the public. What the government has asked journalists to do is to essentially respect journalistic ethics.
The focus of reports on accidents should be the victims, their families and the rescue workers in that order. But often people get to read, hear and see how officials responded to an accident and organized rescue work, followed by scenes of the accident and then perhaps the victims. Many local official websites, media outlets and officials have become used to such a reporting style. Some even manufacture news reports to take credit for their work.
But what local officials say and do is not news, though rescue and relief workers' efforts deserve public recognition. Reports on accidents and natural disasters, like any other report, should be objective and comprehensive instead of focusing on officials.
Indeed, many journalists have to make an effort to change their writing style, but local officials should refrain from using accidents and other tragedies to hog the limelight.
Most Spring Festival galas inane
The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television recently issued a notice, asking all TV stations to reduce expenses on Spring Festival galas and use the money to improve the quality of their programs and help charity. Chinese people deserve to be freed from the visual explosions on TV channels, says an article in Guangzhou Daily. Excerpts:
Spring Festival galas on TV are supposed to entertain people and augment the festive spirit on Chinese Lunar New Year's Eve. But despite having a large budget for ostentatiously dazzling stage and lighting designs, luxurious costumes and props, and psychedelic choreography, no TV station can match the success of China Central Television in the 1980s when everything seemed simple but affinitive.
A Spring Festival gala can be considered good only if the audience finds its content familiar and delightful. But many a gala has betrayed the essence of Spring Festival and ignored the taste of the audience.
There seems to be a trend to produce programs to make profits from advertising revenue. But the truth is, many Spring Festival galas find it hard to make ends meet since no company would dare to pay high advertising rates for one program. Even if the advertising revenue is high, it is at the expense of consumers.
The SARFT notice seems a little behind schedule because many local galas have already been made. So hopefully, efforts to make meaningful and entertaining programs for Spring Festival will continue. Besides, we need strict supervision and supporting punitive measures to ensure only good programs are telecast on Chinese New Year's Eve.
(China Daily 02/07/2013 page9)