Western journalists lose objectivity by focusing on trivialities
Updated: 2016-09-09 07:56
By Chen Weihua(China Daily)
Chinese President Xi Jinping and other leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) members, some guest countries and international organizations pose for a group photo ahead of the opening ceremony of the G20 summit in Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang province, Sept 4, 2016.[Photo/Xinhua]
For some Western journalists covering the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang province, early this week, the biggest story was the US President Barack Obama's staircase episode at Hangzhou airport or about the few reporters who could not get close to Obama to get on-the-spot comments.
Although Obama told the news media not to "over-crank" the significance of the issue, for days, some mainstream US media outlets have been speculating that the Chinese must have "plotted" the episode to humiliate Obama.
It reminded one of some major US media outlets' reports in November 2009 saying Obama had not been treated well by the Chinese during his first visit there. White House officials strongly disagreed. Jeffrey Bader, then senior advisor for Asia in the White House National Security Council who had accompanied Obama on the trip, said the media outlets did not correctly characterize the visit.
Some Western media organizations' obsession with the staircase episode shows how they are easily distracted by minor events and thus fail to focus on the main issues.
In Hangzhou, some Western reporters spent far more time writing and dramatizing the staircase story than covering important global challenges such as a slowing world economy, climate change, poverty, trade protectionism and international governance, issues that world leaders had assembled to resolve and issues that journalists should have delved deep into if they were in Hangzhou to cover the G20 Summit, and not to act like paparazzi.
People watching US TV this past year got just one piece of news－the 2016 US presidential election. The news media seem to have decided that that is the only thing Americans need to know and care about at least until the election on Nov 8.