US public prefers parochial view of world

Updated: 2011-06-03 08:01

By Li Xing (China Daily)

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Since relocating in Washington, my husband and I have been doing our best to keep up with the news by watching television.

My husband is particularly fond of the rush hour traffic reports, which are a staple feature of TV news in Beijing. It's obvious that rush hour traffic is now worse in Beijing than it is in Washington.

When we were in Beijing, we routinely watched TV news at breakfast and during supper. Between Beijing TV and China Central Television, we thought the morning and evening broadcasts provided us with a good sense of what was happening in the world.

A month after moving to Washington, however, we have yet to find a lineup of news programs that provides coverage comparable to Beijing TV and China Central Television.

Last week I returned to Beijing for China Daily's 30th anniversary and quickly settled into my old routine. On Wednesday morning, for example, I learned that the E. coli crisis continued to spread across Europe, as some 16 people died after consuming tainted cucumbers. In Yemen, fighting erupted in the capital between rebel and government forces; in Doha, Chinese envoy Liu Guijin expressed his disappointment with the results of an international conference on Darfur.

In India, a bus carrying more than 40 people - families on the way to a wedding - plunged into a pond. The bridegroom and his parents were among the 26 people who drowned. And in western Turkey, people continue to live in tents for fear of more aftershocks after an earthquake hit the area a few days ago.

In China-related news, Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Qishan was in Moscow, promoting energy cooperation. In Guizhou province, rescuers continued to search for 11 miners who were still unaccounted for after a mine flooded on Sunday.

I compared notes with my husband in Washington. He told me he had browsed several channels throughout the evening and saw only local news. He finally turned to a Chinese-language Internet site to get the world news.

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