Edited and translated by People's Daily Online The U.S. radio program This American Life recently announcedthat U.S actor Mike Daisey's monologue on working conditions inApple factories in China contains fabrications. In the monologue,Mike Daisey revealed with "his personal experience" thatShenzhen Foxconn Technology Group of China, which assembles Applephones and tablet PCs, employed child labors. Fabrications The program contained a large part of Mike Daisey's performance inhis program "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs."The two-hour monologue started performing in U.S. theaters in asearly as 2010, and more than 50,000 audiences have watched it.Currently, it is still performed in public theaters of New York. |
However, after the reporter of the program "Market" ofthe National Public Radio, who is in charge of reporting Chinesenews, contacted with and interviewed Daisey's translator in China,he found that the translator's statement was quite different fromDaisey's words. The part of "seeing employees poisoned byethane" is fabricated, and he also got the ages of theemployees "by guessing." Daisey defending himself Regarding this scandal, Daisey defended himself in his blog that hefelt regret for his mistake, the wrong point was that hisperformance in the program was regarded as news, but actually itwas not news but a performance of theater. Daisey's words denying his mistake are widely questioned andcriticized by U.S. media.
An article on the New York Times saidthat, Daisey, who claims that he is not a reporter, did not claimthat in his program, and what he called "things he personallysaw" are actually things fabricated. At the end, the articlesays that Daisey was actually aimed at showing that Chinesefactories are violating human rights, and therefore he did not careabout facts. Expert's comments Liu Chang (vice dean of Institute of Communication Studies underthe Communication University of China): This is not an individualcase, and in the current ever-changing ecological mediaenvironment, untrue reports of this kind, which involve ethics andmorals of media, are increasing. The major reason is that the broadcasting station is extremelysimilar to some "foreign publicizing" media withgovernment background, and news reports of these media usuallyhighly accord with the government's foreign policy. International reports of Western media are usually interested inbad news, especially bad news of the countries with differentpolitical systems from theirs.
The U.S. media's mistaken reports onChina are not technical mistakes completely caused by such thingsas hasting for efficiency or "not understanding Chinaenough." Due to the Cold War, stereotyped images on countries with differentideologies have deeply formed in minds of the Western media, andtherefore, they, based on political considerations, do not careabout whether their reports accord with facts. Western media have adouble-standard for their domestic news reports and internationalnews reports. The so-called "one medium, two worlds"situation is a reality admitted by many U.S.
scholars ofjournalism. The ethics and morals of media are turning into increasingly hotglobal topics, and both the press and academic circles are makingself-examinations. The more the ecological media environmentchanges, the more the media should treat the news reportobjectively and cautiously. All media must stick to traditionalvalues of news report, such as the objectiveness, faithfulness andjustness.
Read the Chinese version at paper.people.com.cn/rmrb/html/2012-03/20/nw.D110000renmrb_20120320_1-22.htm.
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