Is It a Sin to Work for Global Times?

An online scuffle between reporter Zhang Zhilong and Wang Wai of Xi’an’s China Business News has highlighted the newspaper’s status as a nationalist bogeyman on China’s media scene. From Amy Li at South China Morning Post:

Zhang, who was in his hometown on a personal visit, told Wang his parents had been hit by a car. The driver turned out to be driving without a licence, and refused to pay medical fees, he said. Zhang suspected the local police were not handling the case properly, and asked Wang whether he was interested in covering the issue. He had hoped that media attention would pressure the police into re-examining the case.

Without answering directly, Wang asked Zhang what job he held and which newspaper he worked for, according to their Weibo accounts. Upon hearing the name Global Times, Wang said: “Then I don’t care” and hung up.

“I hope Wang will lay aside the dispute of ideologies and think twice when feasting on other people’s suffering,” Zhang later wrote on his Weibo.

[…] A majority of microbloggers applauded Wang for having “punished” an employee working for an “evil” newspaper. Others criticised him for abandoning ethics and “universal values,” which many liberal papers seem to embrace, letting his own political views influence the coverage of a story. [Source]

Global Times’ outspoken editor-in-chief Hu Xijin has frequently attracted ridicule for “finding the tasty morsels in any turd [the authorities] stick in his mouth,” as one netizen put it. But a Cornell University study argued last year that the newspaper’s reputation for hardline nationalism is somewhat unfair.

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