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Court's ruling in support of media supervision will serve society well

China Daily | Updated: 2015-11-11 07:48

ON MONDAY, a court in Beijing issued its final verdict in a lawsuit brought by the Beijing-based company World Luxury Association against several media organizations and journalists. The company claimed biased reports had damaged its reputation, but the court ruled in favor of the media, saying the reporting was in the public's interest. Comments:

Besides the final ruling, the judgment of the court also spends many paragraphs explaining the court's attitude toward public opinion supervision. It confirmed that when an individual figure or organization tries to promote its popularity in society seeking profits, the public has the right to know its background and other information, and the media has the right to report on all aspects of the company, whether positive or negative. It is not the job of the media to please companies or individuals in their reports.

The verdict is important because it sets a precedent. As the last defense of social justice, the judiciary has clearly and unambiguously expressed its support for the media to play its role in social construction. That will grant more journalists the confidence to do their jobs well.

Southern Metropolis Daily, Nov 11

The verdict is undoubtedly a victory for journalists because it protects their right to report on companies as they are. More importantly, it sends a signal to society that organizations with grand, magnificent words like "World" or "Global" in their names might be not as good as these words suggest, and the way they seek profits might be illegal.

In the case of the World Luxury Association, it often held exhibitions and granted cheap brands the title of being a "luxury brand" after taking money from the companies. After several media outlets reported on this, people no longer trust these exhibitions.

The World Luxury Association is only one of its kind; they have survived because in the past most associations were sponsored by the State so people trusted them. As China is now turning associations from State-owned to non-governmental organizations, the past mode of behavior is expected to disappear soon., Nov 10

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