Washington Post and China


Chinese propaganda in The Post
Letter to the Editor from Julian Baum
Washington Post, 2011-10-07

It’s distressing to see The Post become a channel for state propaganda from the People’s Republic of China. Yet that’s what’s happening with the lengthy advertorials from the China Daily that are distributed with your newspaper.

The Sept. 30 “Chinawatch” insert was especially objectionable. Four of the six pages were filled with happy, seemingly fact-filled reports about the latest developments with Taiwan, all masquerading as “news.” But they were missing crucial context for understanding the fraught relations across the Taiwan Strait. There was no mention of controversies within democratic Taiwan about the new policies and their effects, nor any observations contrary to China’s deceptive strategies. All was harmony and light.

The Chinese government is spending generously worldwide to promote its view. But your accepting its advertising dollars is no mere commercial transaction. These “news reports” are from a state-controlled arm of the Chinese propaganda establishment.

This is not a service to readers, and the advertorials directly conflict with the integrity and fairness that I expect from The Post.

Julian Baum, Richmond

The writer is a freelance journalist who formerly worked for the Christian Science Monitor and the Far East Economic Review.


Caving to China’s demands
by Patrick B. Pexton, Washington Post Ombudsman
Washington Post, 2012-02-26

[The end of the column:]

The Post is tied to China through advertising revenue.
Once a month The Post prints “China Watch,”
an advertising supplement in English
that consists of stories aimed at a U.S. audience
written by China Daily, the house organ of the Chinese government.
And The Post’s Web site hosts a regularly updated version of China Watch.

That’s the thing about China,
whether you are The Washington Post, the U.S. government or Apple computers.
There is interdependence in the relationship,
and constant negotiation and compromise.
The Chinese know it, and they take advantage of it.

The Post’s job is to point that out,
be transparent about it and report the truth regardless.

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