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SCMP Bias - What & where is it?

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  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by greenmark:
    A very clear, yet subtle, example of SCMP bias on news comes to when they report on any news from Taiwan.

    SCMP has four main reporting sections – City, China, Asia, World. Taiwan articles are always within the China section, with absolutely no differentiation as compared with articles from other provinces in China. For example you might get a summary of short news items in sequence from Hebei, Guizhou, Taiwan, Shandong and Jiangxi.

    This is just one example, mind. I know not of any other non-PRC paper that doesn't even attempt any distinction between China and Taiwan. Even Straits Times separates news items.
    That is deliberate, as the SCMP positions itself as a newspaper within China -- which the Straits Times isn't. That's why it always uses the phrase "on the mainland" and not "in China". It doesn't imply bias.

    I try to judge the paper based on its mainland news reporting, as that is the area which would be most susceptible to pressure from Beijing. But it's still reporting on official corruption, riots, CCP power struggles, food adulteration scandals etc so I think it's still doing its job.

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Morrison:
    I don't know whether or not SCMP is biased in their reporting as I am biased and have stopped reading SCMP
    I sort-of *HAVE* to read the SCMP....

    Why?

    'Cos it arrives - FOR FREE - every print-day outside my front door.

    But I find that the weekend edition of the Financial Times - which arrives on Sunday with my spouse's Ming Pao
    is a much more detailed edition of what's happening in the world.

    Unfortunately, what with reading the excellent IT e'zine from TheRegister.co.uk each weekday & the SCMP every day, I can't always find time to totally devour "The Pink Paper" the way it deserves.
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  3. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenCatalonia:

    But I find that the weekend edition of the Financial Times - which arrives on Sunday with my spouse's Ming Pao
    is a much more detailed edition of what's happening in the world.
    Of course it is. I don't think anyone would disagree with that.

  4. #34

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    You want specific examples? I give you a specific examples of NO bias!

    Massive Chinese banyan tree falls on woman on busy street in Hong Kong's Central | South China Morning Post

    Why did the fact that it is a "Chinese" Banyan tree make it so prominently in the headline? That's right. Because all trees and news about trees is equal in the name of the SCMP. Long live freedom of the press!

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  5. #35
    David Smith

    My general view is that the SCMP is a solidly pro-establishment newspaper, but with enough flexibility to allow some voices and articles from the other side. These days it has a lot of "China is great, Japan is bad" type news articles and mostly pro-establishment, often fairly poor quality opinion pieces, so it is not the enjoyable read it once was. You generally won't find Fox News style bias or omission of facts, the bias as such is more in selection, timing and positioning of news articles and the way things are stressed and presented. If you know where to look it is still a good source of news for all view points.

    That holds in normal times. In sensitive times, such as part (not all) of Occupy, probably the next CE election and (now at all times) anything to do with the police protester relations, the sins of omission are greater. While I cannot back it up, for those issues, I think SCMP is no longer a reliable source of news.

    It is also worth bearing in mind that the online version is not the same as the paper version. Many articles critical of the government only get published online and quite a few of these are deleted a few weeks or months later and effectively 'disappeared' from the Internet. That is important, because as great as Twitter is, if you want to find out what has been going on politically in Hong Kong the last few years, then SCMP (plus a few blogs and Wikipedia) are the only real comprehensive English language sources.

    drumbrake, Cho-man, Gatts and 1 others like this.

  6. #36
    David Smith

    Generally I agree with er2 that SCMP has its bias and HKFP does too, but that overall HKFP is closer to doing what the media should do. I think the coverage of the recent DC by-election is a good example of the subtle types of bias that are present. Shri is right it was reported by SCMP in the end and SCMP reported it fairly accurately. So if we compare the reporting of HKFP and SCMP on this one event:-

    Timing: HKFP day after election, first edition; SCMP two days later

    Placment: HKFP front page; SCMP small column at bottom of 4th page of City Supplement

    Missing information: SCMP fails to inform readers that the incumbent, now serving prison time for fraud, belonged to a pro-establishment party the Business Professionals Alliance. In general HKFP provides much more complete information in the text and also has many pictures and a video.

    Analysis: HKFP fails to do any analysis or mention this was probably a one-off due to the split non-democrat vote. In contrast, SCMP starts and finishes with this point and goes to the trouble to find two political experts to affirm it. However, SCMP is careful not to analyse further by speculating whether there was a split in the pro-establishment camp and why it might be unusual to have two serious 'independent' candidates in Hong Kong.

    While this is very subjective, I believe the HKFPs "Despite labeling himself as independent, Ho Man-kit was backed by pro-Beijing legislators during the by-election" is more accurate than SCMP which rather glosses over this and the fraud which caused the by-election, making both seem quite natural.

    What is frustrating for me is the lack of questions that need to be asked about why LO stood after his father was convicted, how he managed to get so many votes despite this, whether older LO is still a member of the BPA, why BPA did not put up a replacement candidate, whether there is a rift between BPA and the other pro-establishment parties, why Regina, Starry and others were campaigning for the 'independent' HO, who paid for HO's campaign and whether the DAB party machine and others canvassed for him.

    Overall, they are minor things that only a news nerd or politics nerd will care about. But over time it builds up to a misleading world view, especially for casual readers who maybe only skim the first 2-3 pages and the opinion pieces/letters page.

    A few years ago I followed the CE election with some interest, but not obsessively. My only source was the SCMP and while I knew about Henry Tang's wine collection and CY's desire to address social issues, I somehow was completely unaware that CY was rumored to be a member of the CCP, had strong links with the mainland or had talked about using force to suppress the 2003 A.23 protests. I think the SCMP must have mentioned this, but only in small out of the way articles hidden away somewhere, or only on days I did not read the paper.

    Last edited by David Smith; 22-07-2015 at 12:50 AM.

  7. #37

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    During this current Lead in the solder scandal it will be interesting to see how little the principal contractor gets a mentions. I suspect all the focus will be on HK Gov and local sub-contractors.

    Again it is not what they say it is what they leave out.

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  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by shri:
    That one is not new, has been floating around since the Occupy days and yes, I've watched it and discussed it a few times (including on here in one of the Occupy threads if I recall).
    So why still question SCMP has bias or not, the answer is obvious.

  9. #39
    David Smith
    Quote Originally Posted by East_coast:
    During this current Lead in the solder scandal it will be interesting to see how little the principal contractor gets a mentions. I suspect all the focus will be on HK Gov and local sub-contractors.

    Again it is not what they say it is what they leave out.
    Based on the coverage in SCMP today that seems spot on. Mention of another HK sub-contractor, no mention of the name of the Chinese company.

    Also up to now the danger was theoretical, but last night 40 tests came back positive and one child had 3 * the UN danger level of lead in their blood. SCMP's treatment 'relegating to the smallest of 3 articles on the front page, with no picture, and continued in a hard to find orphan column on page 3 is a bit too light in my opinion. Other papers have it as the main article on the front page. The SCMPs decision to devote more space on the front page to a story about Japan criticising China and less to the lead scandal is questionable in my opinion.

  10. #40
    David Smith

    Delaying and Burying Stories.

    The IPCC vs the Police case of the senior policeman accused of assault has only been reported in a low profile manner by SCMP. The latest development in which IPCC pushed back and said they will likely stand by their decision was reported Monday in RTHK and elsewhere, but only Wednesday evening by SCMP and only online. SCMP also failed to report that the policeman's defense (per Mingpao, HKFP and EJ Insight) was that he was merely 'patting' the victim not 'hitting' him. Judge for yourself
    https://www.hongkongfp.com/2015/07/2...-assault-case/

    IPCC confirmed their decision tonight. Lets see if SCMP report this on Thursday and if so where and how. CY is in theory supposed to adjudicate, so well...you can imagine the storm of media attention this would create in the (admittedly farm more serious) cases of police brutality in the US if Obama had to adjudicate. In HK - more due to TV than the SCMP - it is likely to just go away.

    Also HKFP and Apple reported on Monday that CY possibly interfered with planning permission in Discovery Bay to assist a company he has links to.
    https://www.hongkongfp.com/2015/07/2...-paper-claims/
    SCMP waits to Wednesday to report it on a small column on page 2 or 3 of the city supplement. SCMP also fails to mention that the company involved here HKI has strong connections with DTZ, which is the company CY was accused of possible corruption/not declaring expenses by an Australian paper in the middle of Occupy.

    Last edited by David Smith; 23-07-2015 at 01:24 AM.
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