News Critic: Tibet Issue
News Critic: Tibet Issue
BBC News’ internet article “Beijing ‘to talk to Dalai aides’” presents a relevant subject for criticism - News Critic: Tibet Issue introduction. The news presents an issue where two sides of a conflict have their own say, and it depends now on the writer who gets the best space. Also, it’s intriguing presentation of facts and focus on particular people and not on situations gives it a “desirable” impression.
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The whole story goes this way: China open for talks, blames Dalai Lama for the unrest, Dalai Lama “strenuously denies”, Chinese official wishes Dalai Lama to stop violent activities, recognizes the spiritual leader’s calls for talks, other leaders wish goodluck, and lastly describes the riots and the military responses. The news may have presented both sides, but the other really looks defenseless.
It’s headline particularly distinguishes Beijing as the prime initiator of talks which it denied already in the past few weeks. Dalai Lama has asked for peaceful processes, which includes talks, to solve the crisis in Tibet. However, China has responded to the aggravated protests with violence and military intolerance to pacify the issue. This headline clearly gives China the best position being open to talks, but never it mentioned that it took them a long time to address the situation peacefully.
It did not focus on the validity of the announcement – China being open to talks. The news quoted mostly from a news agency in China, Xinhua news agency, and interviewed Dalai Lama’s spokesperson who denied that China has made any proposals for talks. This statement came at the the middle of the story, later than the statement of China for the Dalai Lama to stop violent protests. Instead, it slants on China’s statements, including the invitation for negotiations and the support other countries give to this announcement. This gives an impression of a pro-China news.
Also, the author’s emotive language implies a negative attitude toward the Dalai Lama. The use of “strenuously denied” recommends a metalanguage of a guilty perception. Its subheading, Olympic Demand, did not present sufficient information regarding the actual demands of Tibet and the rest of the world from China. Instead, it focused on the demands of China for the Dalai Lama to make steps on stopping protests and “activities aimed at splitting China.”
Generally, it gives an impression of a peace loving Beijing and forgets about its bloody crack downs on the protests. As far as i’m concerned, people want to be sympathetic with Tibet and this news certainly taps more for them to support China. If i’m going to be its writer i’ll write the denial of the existence of formal talks request from China next to the Chinese statement, if not focusing mainly on it. And to give more humanistic slant, the issue of the violent protests may serve as a background and not the implied attack against the Dalai Lama. Something like, “China seeks to end disturbances in Tibet through talks with the Dalai Lama and his representatives,” and not focus on the allegations thrown against the spiritual leader.
Beijing ‘to talk to Dalai aides’ BBC News. Retrieved 28 April 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7366500.stm