News in China - Not What you Think
By TIM HARRELL
No field reporters. No police chases. No news choppers hovering
Sound kind of boring?
That's Chinese television news....but it really isn't boring
I recently visited my wife's family in Bejing for a week and
had an opportunity to sample televison news--Chinese style.
I noticed some staggering differences....
There did not appear to be any field reporters.
Packages apparently were done by field producers and voiced
by anchors, and you saw little or nothing of the anchor in
There was no "crime news" during the week I was
there, and I am told there is little if any "crime news"
on Chinese television.
To my surprise Chinese television rarely airs political reporting.
Most of the local stories were soft feature stories, like
a health fair for youngsters, and agriculture was big.
I did not see any coverage of Chinese leaders, like you would
see in America of the President or Congress. I had expected
to see a lot of propaganda, but really did not.
There were soap operas that were just a racy as ours, and
game shows that were just as nutty as ours and of course public
There were entertainment programs like Extra! and Access Hollywood.
One of which profiled filmaker Steven Spielberg and the movies
he had created.
I was even more suprised to see that during my entire stay
in China, I saw only one story that I saw about the U.S. It
concerned congressional debate over trade with China and there
was one reference to the spyplane incident.
I am sure there is tragedy and sorrow in China, but it is
not reflected on the 6 p.m. news like it is here.
About the Author
TIM HARRELL has spent nearly 30 years in journalism working
for local radio , the Herald Examiner, City News Service and
currently in Unit 13 at KCOP-TV. He has been nominated for
four emmys and won several awards for stories he has written