The Chinese Media’s Selective Reporting

By Amy Lien
Amy Lien
Amy Lien
November 14, 2011 Updated: May 27, 2012

The state-controlled Chinese media is known for selective coverage of news to suit the interests of the Chinese Communist Party. Recently, a rape case in Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province has been getting extensive coverage in the Chinese media, but there is no reporting on alarming news about four soldiers who deserted armed with a gun.

The “Yang Wu incident” in Shenzhen is stirring up a fierce debate online. On the evening of Oct. 23, 28-year-old Wang Juan was beaten and raped by a security personnel Yang Xili, while her husband, Yang Wu, hid in a room just meters away, too scared to call the police. Yang Xili had harassed them several times.

Apparently, Chinese media have thorough freedom to report the “Yang Wu incident.” The couple has been the focus of public attention, surrounded by reporters. On TV Yang Wu is crying, while the photo online shows Wang Juan lying on bed with her face covered, surrounded by oceans of cameras and microphones.

Bloggers prefer to call this the “Yang Wu incident,” because in doing so they are making an implicit comparison to the case of another Yang, Yang Jia. This unemployed worker was convicted in November 2008 of killing six Shanghai police after having suffered abuse at the hands of the police. A saying has been making the rounds that “if you can’t be Yang Jia, you can only be Yang Wu.”

While media attention has focused on the “Yang Wu incident,” there has been no report about the alarming news of four deserters from barracks in Jilin City in Northeast China. According to an official brief that was soon deleted, four soldiers escaped from barracks in Jilin on Wed., Nov. 9, armed with an automatic rifle and 795 bullets.

Three of them were shot dead and one arrested. A banker in Julin City confirmed for The Epoch Times that their bank had received an urgent notice from the police, alerting them to pay attention to four persons in camouflage clothing.

The news was first verified by Chinese officials on a microblog and reported on the People’s Daily Online, one of China’s state-run media. Soon the news was deleted. Some netizens posted inquiries about the deletion of the news about the four armed deserters, but the inquiries were also deleted.

Why did the four soldiers escape, armed with a gun? What category does Troop 65331, to which the four escapees belonged to, fit into? These questions remain a mystery to the Chinese people.

Chinese media often receive orders from their superiors regarding what news to cover and what to avoid. Due to the Arab Spring, the Chinese communist regime is paying particular attention to “social stability.” Strict and effective control over and censorship of the media and the Internet plays a crucial part in maintaining this “social stability.”

Amy Lien
Amy Lien