“I hate newspapers like Chinese News because it is so negative on China. What a crappy newspaper is this that carries articles badmouthing our motherland? What do you want to achieve by eagerly demonizing China, and who is back you up?”
Chinese News has received hateful comments from readers who are furious about our articles that put China in a negative spotlight. But as a news media serving the Chinese Canadians, we want to tell our readers that in fulfilling media mandate of serving and influencing the public, our newsroom has been trying to hold ourselves to the highest standard of journalism as we address issues concerning China.
Media plays an important role as government watchdogs in a democratic society, providing checks on powerful authorities in order to reduce incompetency, corruption and abuse of power. By exposing government wrongdoings and misconduct of officials, we can help ensure the government accountability and that public interest in better protected.
In carrying out the mandate, Chinese News is not only critical about China, but also put the Canadian government under spotlight. We have carried stories exposing the wrongdoings of Canadian governments – from revealing the Ontario Ministers’ cash-for-access fundraising efforts to criticizing B.C. government new tax rules on foreign home buyers that allegedly violated Canadian Charter. We’ve published articles exposing the bureaucratic inefficiency of York Region Council – a local municipal government for mismanaging the taxpayers’ money, and revealing the flaws and deficiencies in the multiculturalism policies adopted by the Canadian government.
We have never received any threats or hate emails from either the Canadian governments or the mainstream public by publishing those articles.
But this journalist role is stopped, suppressed and sometime destroyed in an autocratic country, where the government cracks down on free speech, an important value in the Western society. Not only the Chinese government dictates the media in China, it has also tries to tighten the media censorship in foreign countries, using the propaganda machine to targeting the overseas diaspora. In its attempted to exert stronger influence, the China Daily has recently formed a partnership with Chinese-Canadian daily in Toronto called Today Commercial News, giving China an outlet to advance its point of view to its overseas Chinese community, and to shape China’s image abroad.
The partnership has sparked heated controversy in the Toronto Chinese community. While many see it as a positive step for bilateral relations, others are concerned it will compromise journalism standard in the local Chinese media, leaving Chinese Canadian journalists facing serious constraint and obstacles to practise the highest standard journalism.
In fact, the Chinese government had already silenced some outspoken media outlets in the overseas community through different channels long before the partnership was forged, showing that the government’s strong efforts in extending its censorship tentacles.
Undoubtedly, the substandard journalism in the Chinese community media has created a substandard readership, most of whom are newcomers from China who are intolerant of different opinions and believe that only a glorious portrait of China can show the heartfelt love to their motherland. But there are many politically sophisticated community members who have access to vast ocean of information about China and whose views and opinions are unlikely to be reshaped by the propaganda machine. Chinese News has faith, and enjoys the privilege to serve the interest of these readers who value free speech and embrace the critical journalism.
我们鼓励所有读者在我们的文章和博客上分享意见。We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, and please keep your comments relevant and respectful. Visit the FAQ page for more information.