How China Is Perceived In The Media.
The way that China is depicted in mainstream British media is fairly mixed, such as stories of big events to ancient culture. These stories are often negative, hypocritical and contradictory.
The way the China controls and monitors its residents, is an increasingly negative factor that is a certainly in the forefront in the medias agenda. It’s often concentrated on how China limits freedom of speech, the websites it allows people to see, news, security and even its own history. The uprising in Tiananmen Square 1989 is a prime example of the control of the Chinese people. The protests in Tiananmen Square are virtually unheard of in China because the Government denies it and almost banned people speaking about it. The fact that Chinese people know so little about the massive protests due to the Governments control of their own media outlets proves that there is a strong grip on the way that information is controlled.
However, China is not the only country to control its people. In recent years both America and Britain have also been heavily criticised in the way they treat people. In the recent war in Afghanistan and Iraq, both countries were criticized for depriving prisoners of freedom of speech. To pick on China, and say they are the only ones that are doing wrong is very hypocritical.
One of the main reasons that this is the case is that the growth of China is intimidating and worrying other power nations such as, Britain, USA and Germany. The rate that China is expanding at is always perceived to be negative in the eyes of the media, it often concentrates on poor working conditions, worker exploitation and the fact that China is trying to –and succeeding- in its attempts to become a major player in the production of a range of products from high end electricals to cheap children’s toys. All throughout history, countries that have developed into super powers have always exploited their workers, in this view it’s very hypocritical to judge Chinas progress. China is a country on the rise and it is something that the media and other counties should realise.
Again, the polar opposite view of China, is one of beauty and vibrance. The media, especially televised media are good at showing the bright, happy, celebratory side of China. During Chinese New Year the stories are focused on the festivals in all their glory, the family togetherness and hope for the fore coming year. At this time of year it is rare to hear about anything except the wonder that is Chinese culture. The focus on these celebrations on again a different bias side (one of beauty and perfection) is not consistent with how the media usually depict China.
The Olympic Games that were held in Beijing in 2008, were a huge talking point for the British media although it was surrounded in controversy. The media went into a frenzy showing China in all its glory to the whole world, forgetting about the human rights issues and poverty. During the Games there was no mention of the negative aspects of the Chinese way of life. The opening ceremony alone cost China a reported £50 million and featured 15,000 performers, which send a strong statement in the ‘selling’ of China to the rest of the world. They sent a strong message that China was aiming to be a big player in the world of super powers. However, before and after the Games the media was full of questions of how China could through people out of their home to make way for stadiums and arenas and how they could make people work for little money to complete the venues on time. The Olympic Games weren’t without there questions but in similar circumstances, isn’t the same thing being done in London for there Olympics? All be it on a much smaller scale.
China is not a country that does not have it problems, just like every country. The way that it is depicted to everyone else in the media is bias and contradictory depending on the story. The media has the power to show us China in many different ways, weather it be the good side (the Olympics and Chinese New Year) or the bad side (control and becoming a super power). China had the potential to become a truly great country, if it continues to change its ways it will ‘win’ over the media.