12 June 2008

Tiananmen: The U.S. Media Coverage

Figures courtesy LexisNexis News search or if available the sites of the respective networks.

Television: CNN was the only network that managed to cover it; two separate mentions of the massacre occured on American Morning and CNN Newsroom later that day. LexisNexis searches produced absolutely no results for "Tiananmen" covered in the reports within June 4 or 5, 2008 from the following networks (be prepared to cover your eyes): ABC, CBS, Fox News, MSNBC, or NBC.

On PBS, though, things were a bit odd. Back on May 16, there was a brief mention of the 6/4/1989 incident in a story about china preparing for the olympics. On May 30 there was an interview with Hung Huang, the CEO of a Chinese Internet company called iLook, in which Chinese internet censorship of Tiananmen was discussed. But on the June 4, 2008 summary there was no room to mention Tiananmen, same happened back in 2007. But in 1999 the program did cover some sort of "10 years later" special report from Ian Williams of the British network ITN. Another full-story coverage could be found from 1997.

Print media:
- New York Times: There was an op-ed on June 4 and full story the following day.
- The Associated Press also filed a report regarding heavy security in Tiananmen; that was wired to numerous outlets including: San Francisco Chronicle; USA Today; Los Angeles Daily News; Salon.com; New York Times; and Seattle Post-Intelligencer; Washington Post; among countless others.

Foreign media:
- UK: BBC News filed a report by its reporter Vaudine England from its Hong Kong unit; that story covered the Hong Kong protests.
- Australia: The Herald Sun (from Melbourne, Victoria province) published a story on June 1 regarding an earlier Hong Kong protest. AFP reports came on Junes 3 and 4 on The Australian The ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) network did file a report about China's denial
- Mainland China: No way possible due to Communist Censorship!!! BOOOOO!!!!!!!
- Hong Kong: Possibly, due to less censorship in HK, but I can't search the HK news sites since I can't search the Web in Chinese that well ><

Well what can I conclude out of all this? Apparantly, Barack Obama's victory in the Democratic Primaries was enough to shun anything else outta the way...in fact coverage of the upcoming 2008 olympics in the U.S. television media has gone down in recent weeks as priorities were given to domestic policies. Oh well...at least the media in other Anglospheric countries were still aware of the Tiananmen massacre from 6/4/1989! But within the U.S., it is just hypocritical that the same TV networks that devoted so much time to the torch relay & the "Free Tibet" confrontations suddenly pulled themselves out when the Tiananmen Day came along. Hopefully, when June 4, 2009 comes, being the 20th anniversary of the massacre, I wonder how the media will react? Stay tuned...

1 comment:

Eddie Cheng said...

Nice summary, Andrew. I have linked your post from my blog.
You might be interested to learn that CCTV, the official television station in China, had inadvertently
"reported" the anniversary event in Hong Kong. :)