Blast in China leaves media fuming; ‘can a piece of paper replace reporting’

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The association asked, “Can a piece of paper really replace live reporting.”

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, March 14: A massive blast in the Hebei province of China has left the people and the media fuming at the information blockade by the Communist regime. In a rare act of defiance, the association of the Chinese media has issued a statement to decry the Communist regime forcing them to rely on the ‘single source of information’.

A powerful explosion took place in the neighbourhood suburb of Beijing yesterday. A powerful explosion took place in Yanjiao in the the Sanhe city, which is close to Beijing. A short video put out by CGTN showed massive damage after the blast, leaving cars damaged while debris lied littered in a large area at the site of the blast.

China officially has said that the blast took place in a restaurant. But the video showed a marketplace and a big building shattered as if they had been struck by a massive blow of blasts from unknown sources.

The television crew of the Taiwan-based channel, CCTV, was blocked by the local police from covering the site of the blast. The video of the reporter of the CCTV stopped from covering the blast site while being on air has gone viral on the internet.

“In a rare show of some spine, the Chinese Association of Journalists defends journalists’ right to report on sites, condemns the official ‘single source policy’ which requires state owned outlet (usually Xinhua) to be the only news source in major events and emergencies,” said Han Yang, a China observer in a post on the social media platform X.

The journalist association in its statement said that “…Taiwan CCTV reporter in Heibei Sanhe Yanjiao interview deflagration encountered resistance”. The footage of the video of the anchor looking askance at the police interrupting a live reporting is being hotly debated among the China watchers.

The association asked, “Can a piece of paper really replace live reporting.” It was referring to the insistence by China to report on hand outs issued by the administration. The statement has found a place on the internet after being retrieved from WeChat. “After the occurrence of major emergencies, the relevant government should do its utmost to carry out search and rescue. Timely treatment of the injured, minimize casualties, properly settle the affected people, protect the basic life of the masses, but also to facilitate reporters to cover, not in order to control public opinion, simply and crudely obstruct the normal performance of media reporters,” said the association of journalists in the statement.

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