By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, Dec. 16: The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and numerous Australian media outlets severed ties with Chinese state media outlet China Daily, according to the rights group International Tibet Network (ITN). Tibet support groups worldwide campaigned earlier this year urging multiple outlets to cancel their profitable deals to hold China accountable for the human rights abuses.
ITN established that the US-based WSJ cut ties with China Daily as under the USA’s Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), the payments to the US news agency ceased in July 2020. The company released propaganda articles for three and a half years which amounted to over $6 million. Although WSJ has still listed China Daily as its partner on the website, no content from the state media has appeared in the newspaper since June.
The international activist group also stated that the Australian media company Nine Entertainment has also severed ties with China Daily over the summer this year. The publication includes prominent Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian Financial Review and The Age. Outlets such as China Daily and Beijing Review, mouthpieces of the Chinese state, have joined hands with many media houses around the world, paying millions of dollars in exchange for running propaganda articles.
The Economist and UK Daily Telegraph also cancelled deals with Chinese state media companies to run their content in exchange for funds. It contains China Watch supplements that are designed to project CCP’s trade, development, and foreign policies to foreign audiences. The articles hailed the CCP’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, projected the Chinese repressive crackdown on Uyghurs as a “law-based campaign of de-radicalisation” and claimed that Tibetans “enjoyed decades of development and democratic reform”.
Campaigns Coordinator at ITN, Gloria Montgomery said, “We will build on these recent victories to ensure that other media outlets, including the LA Times, stop running this pro-Beijing content, betraying not only the victims of China’s rampant human rights violations but also threatening the very nature of our long cherished press freedoms at home.” Tibet support groups are preparing to campaign against other media outlets including Handelsblatt and the Los Angeles Times in the coming months.