May 7, 2008

China maltreated by western media?

Date: Tue, 6 May 2008
Subject: Re: Video

Hi Folks !

Just a clip from the event the weekend before. Lots of people & the DN reporter wrote that it was only 500 people attented! What do you think? Maybe China is not on the Swedish media most popular list.

Live well,
Hi A, I watched the video clip, and I must say I wouldn't be able to tell how many were there, actually. Sure, it looks more than 500, maybe it was closer to 1000, but it was definitely not the 5000 I have heard mentioned. It was a pity the rain caused almost everybody to go under the roof on Sergels torg, otherwise we could compare it to two other links I found on demonstrations taking place there.

The first one is from 19th Sept 2007 when people were voicing their discontent against the current Swedish government, one commentary says: why didn't the newspapers mention how many people were there? Another commentary estimates it to 5000, and they look a great deal more than the Chinese demonstration, even if you take into account the rain and subsequent going under the roof:

The second one is from a demonstration for kurds 28th Oct 2007, go 3.30 into the clip for the crowded pics, I think. And according to the info they think it was "thousands", which could be anything from 1000 to several, but I don't think they meant several thousands.

I am not trying to say something against the demonstration per se, merely urging my fellow countrymen to retain their calm and common sense, and not be too paranoically nationalistic. That frightens people, just as fundamentalistic muslims frighten us all. And at least they are very few, while the hotheaded nationalistic Chinese right now seems to be quite a common sight on the Internet.

As a journalist myself, I know the working conditions for journalists, and how hard it would be for ME to estimate exactly how many were there. I can't even tell from the pictures, which should give a better overview than standing in the midst of the action. How could they do a better job?

I talked to the press officer at the Chinese embassy, who was angry that media had focused on a few (6 or 7) Xinjiang separatists who tried to cause trouble, but that is also the characteristics of western media - it is conflict-oriented. If everything is fine and running smoothly, there's no need to tell it to the general public. Unless it is unusually great.

I hope you are not offended by my saying aloud what I am thinking, but I just want to give another nuance to the debate and conception of maltreatment of China from western media.

All the best,
Space babe

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