Ezzat Shahrour er korrespondent her i Beijing for den arabiske del af Al Jazeera. Forleden skrev han en artikel på hans (kinesiske) blog om, hvordan de kinesiske medier dækker krisen i Mellemøsten og især i Libyen. Som Ezzat Shahrour skriver, så er han ikke imponeret.
China Media Project har oversat artiklen. Og som CMP skriver i indledningen til den, så er Ezzat Shahrours artiklen værd at lægge mærke til. For denne gang kommer kritikken af Kinas ikke fra de “vestlige medier,” som de kinesiske ledere nærmest rutinemæssigt beskylder for at angribe Kina. Men derimod fra en journalist på al-Jazeera, som er et netværk Beijing har holdt godt øje med som et eksempel på, hvordan ikke-vestlige medier kan få indflydelse på den globale dagsorden. Og Ezzat Shahrours er som nævnt ikke imponeret:
I just don’t see what the point is of media spending so much money to prepare their journalists to go to a dangerous place like Libya when all these reporters do is simultaneous interpretation in China of Ghaddafi’s own television station. Can’t this sort of news coverage be done just as well from Beijing? Isn’t it a complete waste of money? In their live reports, the Chinese reporters constantly emphasize that the majority of Libyans support Ghaddafi, so I suppose those opposition members who are gathering daily on the streets and in public squares must be from some fairy wonderland (or the Chinese media believe, like Ghaddafi, that these demonstrators are just “rats”)? The Chinese media tell us how Ghaddafi’s forces are gaining ground on the opposition forces, but they don’t tell us that there are tens of thousands of foreign mercenaries killing Libyan people at Ghaddafi’s behest. They tell us that the people of Libya all enjoy free medical insurance, but they don’t tell us how many hospitals Ghaddafi has built in Libya during his 42-year rule. They tell us how the people of Tripoli are all so grateful to Colonel Ghaddafi, but they don’t tell us that in this country that exports 1.6 million barrels of oil a day, six million people live on daily rations of porridge. The so-called Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya is nothing more than a bad check.
The vast majority of Arabs accept the air campaign in Libya by coalition forces, even though this is a choice made of necessity only, with the hope that the intervention of the multinational coalition will extend a lifeline to the opposition forces that represent the true will of the Libyan people. But China’s media have misrepresented this. After the bombing began, these Chinese media, who originally paid no attention at all to the Arab revolution, sprang into action, assuming the air of stalwart fighters against hegemonism. They took UN Resolution 1973 out of context, applied a double-standard to the breaking of the ceasefire agreement, kept a tacit silence on the issue of [Ghaddafi’s] foreign mercenaries, intentionally misread the reasons for the air campaign. For those Chinese viewers who managed to gather the truth from various other sources, this only brought into sharp relief the line and position being promoted in China’s media — emphasize only the humanitarian disasters caused by Western air bombardments, and reporting sparingly if at all on the violent suppression and massacre of the people by Ghaddafi.