Debate heats up between US prof. and Chinese students

Prof. Joseph Bosco, a veteran author and journalist who now teaches at China Foreign Affairs University, commented on his personal Weblog on China Daily’s printing gruesome photos of the Fallujah attack on Americans. I and some other Chinese students studying in the United States sought to debate him on the issue.
Prof. Bosco has since commented again on the protest emails he has received. And here is the last email I wrote to Prof. Bosco.


Two more points, if you will
To: josephbosco@yahoo.com

Dear Prof. Bosco,

I hope you don’t consider these emails from Chinese readers of your
Weblog a harrassment, or all of this loses its meaning.

I don’t understand why you keep mentioning your being considered, by
whom we don’t know, “being far too supportive/tolerant” of the Chinese government. What protests I and some of my fellow Chinese students have raised to you are concerning China Daily’s editorial practice, from a
professional journalism perspective. From my point of view at least it
should be an examination of journalistic ethics, instead of injured patriotic feelings (as may be the case of both side right now).

I want to know why you condemn, and rather savagely at that, China
Daily printing the photos and why you consider that a blatant expression of “transparent anti-American sentiments”. It has nothing to do with how favorably you regard the Chinese government or vice versa.

I don’t know how long you have taught in China or how well you know the
state-owned media system. If that is indeed the issue I would like very much to discuss this with you. China Daily is a state-owned publication, (as someone who ran away from official Chinese media to study journalism in the US, I may well despise it for this? and I certainly have no reason to defend its every move), but not necessarily every word they publish is put in their mouth by the Central
Propaganda Department. And I don’t think the Fallujah photos is such a case.

As for those of us who responded equally ungraciously to your comments, you can be sure that the Chinese government didn’t put those words in our mouths either.

So I don’t think the fact (or is it) that you are undeservedly tolerant of the Chinese government is relevant to this discussion.

And my second point is similar? the other fact that CCTV should find it appropriate toconsult your expert opinion in one of their programs doesn’t mean at all “the authorities” approve of your attitude. Again, what the authorities should think don’t matter zilch. If I didn’t have too many beers last night, this discussion is still between an outraged you and some equally outraged Chinese students. And just as China Daily’s front page editor may not have the fortune to
have Central Propaganda Department bigwigs hold their hand in their every editorial decision, the producers at CCTV, or from whichever of the millions of programs the corrupt TV produces, probably weren’t dilligent enough to dig up what has been going on on the Internet the previous day.

And if I may say, those two points you made were really poor argument. Again I had expected you todo better than that.

April 3, 2004 2:41 PM
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Categories: China & the World