Students rap media 'hegemony'

By Li Xiaokun (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-03-26 07:11

Chinese students overseas, angered by distorted Western coverage of the recent riots in Tibet, have united to counter what they call "Western media hegemony".

They have set up a website,, to collect evidence of what they believe is one-sided and untrue Western reporting, and posted an open letter asking all Chinese to rise up against "the Western Goebbels' Nazi media", a reference to the Nazi-era propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.

Meanwhile, Chinese students in Britain are calling on some 100,000 fellow students in the country to take part in a "29-Pence Action", the amount referring to the 29 pence it costs for ordinary mail.

They are urging each student to send a letter to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown asking him to cancel a scheduled meeting with the Dalai Lama, whom the Chinese government has accused of orchestrating the recent violence.

The website has so far collected nearly 20 pictures from leading global media organizations including CNN, the BBC and the Washington Post with untrue reports about Tibet.

"Some Western media, in the name of freedom of the press, have long relentlessly denigrated developing countries to achieve their hidden objectives. They have gone to the extreme in mixing right with wrong, black with white, and fabricating rumors," the website said.

Reports in the West on Tibet have fully revealed their "vicious" nature, it said, asking netizens to send all evidence available, either pictures or text in any language, to discredit the Western media.

The open letter, widely posted in online forums, said: "The Chinese nation, peace-loving, refined and cultivated, has long swallowed humiliation and submitted to insults. It can no longer be a silent lamb." It asked all Chinese to send protest letters, faxes and e-mails to Western media organizations asking them to apologize for their false reports.

"Only through our efforts can we protect our rights, let the West hear our voice, and safeguard the image of China and national reunification."

Two German news organizations have already apologized after being accused of distorting facts in covering the Lhasa riots.

German news television N-TV on Monday admitted that a picture and a video sequence it used on March 20 in a report about the riots had actually been taken in Nepal. It said the images were replaced after editors noticed the error. "We are terribly sorry," said an N-TV spokesman in Colgone.

On Sunday, another German television, RTL, also admitted on its website that it "used a picture in a wrong context".

In Britain, the students said in a letter that a meeting with the Dalai Lama will "send a wrong signal to British people", and hurt the feelings of 1.3 billion Chinese.

Posted on (, the largest online forum for Chinese students overseas, the letter had drawn 6,116 hits by 11:30 am on Tuesday, two days after it was posted.

Chinese students in other countries have also posted the letter on various forums.

"No one will believe that those who waved knives and clubs at innocent citizens, who burnt them to death, who robbed stores, represent peace and justice," wrote Evita, an organizer.

A netizen named lengku-love said he was completely disappointed by the coverage.

"It's unbelievable that the British media would ignore atrocities committed by rioters. They have not shown basic media ethics."

Chinese students held a demonstration in front of Tibet House, the headquarters of Tibetan separatists in London, last Saturday, with students holding placards demanding "Fair media" despite threatening calls from Tibetan separatists, said a student surnamed Fang at the University of Cambridge.

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