Journalism Win!

It’s a tough life for journalists in China sometimes, but that doesn’t mean they have to like it. In this awesome post at ESWN, Roland translates part of the transcript of a PSB press conference discussing an incident where a police officer shot and killed two local men. Unfortunately for the PSB representative, the reporters weren’t in a particularly charitable mood. Some especially delicious excerpts:

Unidentified reporter: Why did Zhang Lei only fire lethal shots? Is it possible that he shot and injured the man in the leg and then shot him again in the head to cause death?
Ran Taiyou: Based upon our investigation, we can say categorically that this view is not objective. Two of the shots were fired into the air. One shot hit a non-lethal part of the body. There was no such thing as injuring Guo Yongzhi first and then going up to shoot him in the head.

Xiaoxiang Morning News: Guo Yongzhi was shot twice. But you just said that there was no such thing as injuring GuoYongzhi first and then going up to shoot him in the head. Does that mean that he was shot dead in the head first before being shot in the leg next?
Ran Taiyou: There was no such thing either.

Xiaoxiang Morning News: So he was neither shot in the leg first nor shot in the head first. Did Zhang Lei shoot Guo Yongzhi twice faster than the bat of an eye?
Ran Taiyou: You can ask again after we complete our investigation.

(chaos in press conference hall)

Xinmin Weekly: I protest! This press conference has been rehearsed!

And then a little later…

Xinmin Weekly: The police investigation report stuck to the “attacking a policeman” story on January 13 and the attempt to seize the gun. How come none of the eyewitnesses interviewed by the media said so? Many eyewitnesses did not even see any physical contact between the two sides. At most, the principals said that they shoved and pushed the police. I don’t know how the police concluded that there was an attack on a policeman and an attempt to seize his gun. Have you interrogated these eyewitnesses? The police must reveal their procedures.
Ran Taiyou: As the reporter comrade said, the procedures must be revealed. However, the case is still under investigation, including the scene analysis and technical examinations. A lot of investigation is still going on. When the investigation is completed …

Huasheng News: If the investigation is still ongoing, then wasn’t it hasty to announce “the attack on a policeman” on January 13?
Ran Taiyou: No, no, that was not a result. The true legal results will have to wait until the investigation is completed …

Chongqing Morning News: A conclusion was drawn before the investigation was completed. Do you feel that you were acting responsibly as a government worker?
Ran Taiyou: The state of our investigation … the final results … we will reveal the facts from the investigation to everybody …

Xinmin Weekly: Do we understand that you mean mean to say that the “attack on the policeman” and the “attempted seizing of the gun” are not definitive but just certain testimonies that the police heard during their investigation?
Ran Taiyou: The final results will have to wait until the investigation is completed before being revealed to everybody.

Chongqing Morning News: Can you give us a time for the results of the investigation?
Ran Taiyou: This … we can … after this is over, we can set up a time together … oh … this … exchange … exchange together.

Xinmin Weekly: Is the press conference today a progress report on the investigation? Or is it definitive? Please answer directly!
Ran Taiyou: This is … the situation of our investigation … this is not the final state …

Host: The Q&A is over.

(Instant chaos in the meeting hall. The reporter are extremely unhappy and they protested loudly. They shouted out more questions)

Chongqing Morning News: If you have defined that two villagers were shot because they attempted to seize the policeman’s gun and the government paid 700,000 yuan in compensation, aren’t you encouraging other people to do the same thing to a certain degree?

Host: A reply has already been given.

Jiangxi TV: Did the compensation to the deceased come from using the budget for civil affairs?
Wu Xin: It was only borrowed temporarily.

Jiangxi TV: Isn’t this loan a form of transfer? The civil affairs budget is used specifically for relief work.
Wu Xin: No, this comes from civil channels and it is only being temporarily borrowed.

(The mayor and the deputy director wanted to leave, but the reporters surrounded them. The scene fell into chaos again.)

Host: We have prepared lunch for everybody. Please go and eat lunch.
(The reporters said that they didn’t want lunch and continued to surround the mayor and the deputy director, who were able to run off eventually.)

I try not to do this (make posts that are just long quotes from someone else’s site), but this was just too awesome not to highlight. If you speak Chinese, the video is also quite entertaining.

And since we’re doing the links thing, check out these three things as well. 1. 2. 3.

0 thoughts on “Journalism Win!”

  1. Good post; and good work by ESWN (it really is about time he allowed some form of response on his site, though).

    This is kind of journalistic endeavour is exactly what China needs more of.


  2. A freedomaniac in China claimed in one article :


    All language must be intepreted based on the situation theyare said.

    If that is true, then there is no universal value.


  3. “Values” and “language” are not identical. The line of Chang Ping’s that you quote comes from an article about dirty language in text messages and is directly preceded by the sentence 单说“黄色淫秽”的客观标准,世界上根本就不存在, so it’s not like you’re catching him out with your conclusion. Even in the political and ideological contexts where the “universal values” debate takes place, language is put to use differently in different situations — words may have different meanings in a Chinese ideological framework than they would elsewhere, but that does not mean that a shared concepts (or values, even) do not exist, even though the words used to identify them might be different.


  4. JD,

    You face north, the sun rises from your right side.

    You face south, the sun rises from your left side.

    The rise of sun is “value”.

    The direction you face is the “language”.

    What is “east” is defined by human.


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