Chinese fans of a certain boy wizard may have been eagerly anticipating some wand-waving action starting Friday, July 15, the official release date of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 on the mainland. Finally, we witness the final battle between Voldemort and Potter, which brings the world’s most successful film franchise ever [...]
Picture this. A top official of a powerful state newspaper stands before a room of journalism students and flatly admits that their government has been lying to them, changing facts in the news or omitting them altogether. The hero of a dystopian novel? A whistle-blower who’s had enough?
Just the opposite. Xia Lin, the deputy editor-in-chief of Xinhua, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party of China, was giving a lecture entitled “Understanding Journalistic Protocols for Covering Breaking News” at the Tianjin Foreign Studies University in which he defended the practice of massaging the truth when it comes to news, citing the critical role of media to maintain societal stability. The examples he gave were shocking, but only confirmed what most skeptical human beings believe: that their government lies to them on a daily basis.
Much time has been spent bemoaning the International Olympic Committee’s decision to award the Olympic Games to Beijing because the city is too polluted, or the government is too authoritarian or the Tibetans are too oppressed. While all of these are valid concerns, the fact of the matter is that IOC awarded Beijing the Olympics and the 29th Olympiad is going to start in less than two hours here in Beijing.