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blank.gif (49 bytes)15/06/1999, updated at 16:00        blank.gif (49 bytes)weather.gif (982 bytes)archive.gif (946 bytes)search.gif (947 bytes)

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Shame to News Freedom of the West
-- By Commentator Yu Guoming

   The West, represented by the US, has the habit to boast that it has the greatest news freedom to the pride of other peoples throughout the world, the most advanced news media, and a large contingent of news elites claiming the finest virtue in their specialty worthy of their career. But when one should take a look at those "humanitarian" mimics acted by various US and other Western media on the Kosovo issue and US-led NATO's barbaric missile attack on the Chinese Embassy he will come to have a clear idea about many "unaccountable things" behind those high-sounding verbiage on news freedom in the US and the whole West:

  -- It is true the US has the world largest and most advanced news agencies and news media, and what is more, it boasts a large contingent of news elites that claim the "finest quality" and "truthfulness of specialty" to go in for their news career. This is as is generally known to people and this is as represented by its AP, the Associated Press, known for its news reports to be released at the earliest possible date than others throughout the world. But on April 7 evening when the US-led NATO missile attacked the Chinese Embassy in the capital of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Belgrade, it just brought out an unusual light news dispatch one hour later than the Chinese news agency, Xinhua. Why AP not the earliest but an hour later? How could this happen especially to AP and its renowned news elites? Then one may ask what has happened in that one hour and was it that there was something that allows no AP news elites to disclose? This is truly unusual with AP. Can the cat be let out?

  -- "Let a market rise with the fullest freedom for people to think and speak" is as is alleged to be a creation to Western civilization. "Your views though oppose mine that I can't stomach but I will fight to the end of my life to guarantee you the right to voice your views" has long been an old motto that has won a multitude of sagacious notables in the US and the whole West. But when it comes to the turn of a weak small voice from the Yugoslav people in defying war ravings from a mammoth powerful propaganda machine of the West the US-led NATO simply silenced it with sophisticated weaponry as missiles and cluster bombs. According to US-led NATO chiefs, though they have gone to various atrocities as of killing people and wanton bombing of factories, hospitals, civilian homes in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, yet their crimes cannot be exposed. But on account of the various crimes committed by US-led NATO in Yugoslavia one cannot but ask: Where is the way to "let a market rise with the fullest freedom for people to think and speak" ?

  -- "People in the West are being given the greatest encouragement to air their views and think things out for themselves" is a saying found on the lips of a great many of people in the US and the whole West. But when Johan Simpsom , BBC resident journalist in Yugoslavia, sent his news dispatch from Belgrade that had not "kept in pace with the government" he has been castigated by the British government as one "not up to the requirements of an old journalist" of Britain. To this, one would wonder: What are the "requirements" as demanded of a journalist especially an old one in Britain, the US and the whole of the West?

  -- A saying known to Western news media is that they "enjoy complete freedom" and a multiple source in news supply. But when looking into statistics on the sources of US CNN's news supply and the contents of news reports on Kosovo one will find that all information in that regard has all be put under strict control of an invisible hand from the government. This is as shown by news supply in the following:

  1) News disclosed by the government, making up about 50.0% of the whole of news supply.

  2) News from NATO headquarters, taking a 26.5% of the total.

  3) Sources from "Kosovar Liberation Army" and Kosovar refugees fleeing abroad, accounting for 14.7%.

  But this is not a multiple but a unitary one-sided source in news supply, without doubt. With these, one naturally wants to ask the Western media: Why not still stick to a multi-source in news supply but change to an unusual one-sided unitary source on the Kosovo issue and US-led NATO's bombing in Yugoslavia?

  -- By a "fair" standard of Western media on disputes found, "double reasoning of things" has to be followed by their news elites. But CNN, as the statistics show above, gives merely its one-sided news releases to as much high as 68.3% of its new reports. This is to say a two thirds of CNN's news reports that have been devoted to one-sided news releases. In contrast, "one-sided" reports by NBC and BBC take up merely one fourths of all their reports on domestic issues as a study has been made into the news report work of these two large news agencies in the US and Great Britain, respectively. This naturally makes one to raise the question: Where do NBC and BBC want a difference of "double reasoning of things" on domestic matters from "one-sided" reporting on foreign issues as of the Kosovo war and a light report on US-led NATO's missile attack on the Chinese Embassy? Why do the two renowned news agencies have to choose a double standard in treating domestic and international issues?

  -- The Western journalists are proud to say that they have a habit to dig out the bottom of truth and make journalism their work to inquire into the root of a matter they are going to report. But they suddenly become silent or just say things as liars do after the US-led NATO missile attacked the Chinese Embassy in the capital of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Belgrade, on April 7 evening. Since their governments declared the bombing was an "error" from air strike they just gave their immediate sanction in their news writing as helping hand to abuse public opinion in the US and the whole West. Here one can see there is something that might be wrong with the personality or caliber of the Western journalists. But this is because there is the shadow of their governments that hold their writing pen in the US and the whole Western world.

  -- When looking at things on the surface special emphasis seems to have been laid by various news media and journalists on the transcending value of human life and so do their news releases on war disasters and casualties to be brought about as a consequence of wars. But when coming to the case three Chinese journalists were victimized by US-led NATO's missile attack it nearly makes no exception for all Western news agencies and news media and their journalists to give a few light touches to the barbaric bombing of the US-led NATO on the Chinese Embassy. They went even to the length of trying not to touch upon in their news writing on the career of the Chinese journalists killed in the bombing. But contrarily, they made a mountain out of a molehill from Chinese students' demonstrations to protest US-led NATO's bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade and a small stone they flung at an electric bulb from outside the campus of the US embassy in Beijing.

  All in all, underlying the various "emphases" on news reports of Western news media and "unaccountable things" as have been said above their journalists and their news reports there is undoubtedly the omnipresence of an invisible hand of governments both in the US and other countries of the whole West. Hard facts have shown that "news freedom" has its specific pragmatic use by the Western standard. It may have its use in the US and other Western countries but not for others. As to those different from theirs it is just a word of deceit and a lethal stick to other alien nations of the West. This is the lesson drawn from the US-led NATO war in Kosovo and the whole of Yugoslavia.

WorldNews 1999-06-15 Page7

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