Headline News


Chinese public go online to criticize Western media coverage of Lhasa unrest

Source: Xinhua | 03-29-2008 07:55

Special Report:   3.14 Tibet Riots

BEIJING, March 28 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese public is venting its spleen online over inaccurate reports about the Tibet riot by some Western media groups.

Since March 20, various inaccurate photos that claimed to be of the Lhasa riot on March 14 by Western media were collected and uploaded on the Internet by some Chinese overseas students.

The collection comprised 11 pictures and footage broadcast by Cable News Network (CNN), the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and other foreign media where netizens highlighted the mistaken captions accompanying the images.

A picture on CNN's website showed people running in front of a military truck. In the original picture, mobsters throwing stones at the truck were cropped out by the U.S.-based network.

On the BBC website, a picture showing Chinese Armed Police officers helping medical staff move a wounded person into an ambulance was captioned "there is a heavy military presence in Lhasa".

The obvious references of First Aid and Red Cross signs on the ambulance were dutifully neglected.

Fox TV, the Washington Post, Berliner Morning post and other Western media were also singled-out in the collection.

After the images were released, netizens also started a signature collection campaign on So far, tens of thousands of signatures have been collected.

Most of the postings on the forum indicated the Western media had favored the rioters.

Rao Jin, a Tsinghua University graduate, publicized the to display the picture and snapshots. "CNN is just one example of the Western media. What stands behind the distortion is misunderstanding and bias toward China," he said.

One of the biggest Chinese websites opened a special link to talk about the Western media distortion of the Lhasa riot, a discussion that drew millions of participants.

To date, the German-based RTL TV and N-TV had made corrections on their website on March 23 and 24, respectively, and apologized to the public.

The Washington Post publicized an editor's note on March 24, saying the caption for an earlier version of a slideshow on the Tibet riot was incorrectly associated with a photo from Nepal where Nepalese uniformed police dispel Tibetans. The caption on the new version was corrected.

On the, netizens continued to pressure Western media, including CNN and BBC, to apologize to their Chinese audience.