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SCMP Bias - What & where is it?

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  1. #1

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    SCMP Bias - What & where is it?

    Over the last few weeks I have been struggling with the issue of bias in the SCMP.

    I have for years been told by friends in the media, pundits on GeoExpat and people who repeat what they read that the SCMP is biased and heavily self censored.

    A number of aggregators / media outlets claim that they are bias free or have a different bias from the SCMP. Two prominent outlets are the Harbour Times (been around for a while) and recently established HK Free Press.

    The HT is more well rounded in its coverage of local issues and perhaps operates on a better business plan / funding structure than the HK FP. They will be around for a while.

    The HK FP has optimism (ironically fuelled by a lot of cynicism towards the SCMP) on its side. I am still not sure if their coverage is good enough. I feel what we get from the HK FP is very much second hand.

    BUT, my post is not about the HT or the HKFP. It is about spotting bias in the SCMP.

    1) Do you feel that what they have published today is biased? What are the stories that you feel could have been portrayed differently? There are some obvious issues with some of their opinion columns but what about the news?

    2) What are the issues / news that the local media have picked up today, which the SCMP has not covered? Would these issues have made any difference in the short term or long term or were they just "shit happens" and we don't have enough space left to print them?

    (Just starting a discussion that perhaps everyone can benefit from .. I have no axe to grind.. )

    Last edited by shri; 21-07-2015 at 09:17 AM.
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    There was an editorial in the SCMP which seem to support the Singaporean government's decision to throw that kid, Amos Yee (the one who criticize Lee Kwan Yew), into a mental institution. Now that is clearly bias, no right-minded person would have supported that decision by the Singaporean government:

    Case of Singapore teen Amos Yee is a reminder that values are relative | South China Morning Post

    Although to the SCMP's credit, they did have allow letters to the editor criticizing that editorial:

    http://www.scmp.com/comment/letters/...ag-free-speech

    Last edited by Cho-man; 21-07-2015 at 09:55 AM.

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    I agree, but editorials and opinion pieces are why we have blogs, forums and plethora of social media opinions to counter biases. The New Yorker piece goes to the other extreme of the SCMP piece.

    But what about news? News by itself is incredibly expensive to produce (creating a scarcity of sources) and can be influenced severely and perhaps even used to manipulate the opinions.


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    Quote Originally Posted by shri:
    I agree, but editorials and opinion pieces are why we have blogs, forums and plethora of social media opinions to counter biases. The New Yorker piece goes to the other extreme of the SCMP piece.

    But what about news? News by itself is incredibly expensive to produce (creating a scarcity of sources) and can be influenced severely and perhaps even used to manipulate the opinions.
    The editorials are the SCMP's official position on a certain news story or event, hence it would show its obvious leaning. If that is not a clear indication of bias, then what is?

    As for news, its not simply news reporting. Its how they report it and what gets chosen as headlines. This gives subtle slant to news stories. And SCMP has that.
    Last edited by Cho-man; 21-07-2015 at 10:17 AM.

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    Al Jazzeera did a report on SCMP's bias in fact. In particular, it highlights the subtle censorship done at the SCMP. Its not in-your-face censorship, but a a more sinister subtle form of censorship:

    Censor This: SCMP becomes the focus of Al-Jazeera segment on editorial bias | Coconuts Hong Kong

    Last edited by Cho-man; 21-07-2015 at 10:21 AM.
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    As for news, its not simply news reporting. Its how they report it and what gets chosen as headlines. This gives subtle slant to news stories. And SCMP has that.
    Yes, and I am asking for help to spot that using today's headlines for an example.

    When most of the news is aggregated by hundreds of blogs and outlets, do we face a situation where a lie repeated enough times becomes the truth?

    but a a more sinister subtle form of censorship
    And where has this sinister form of censorship been addressed in the free media? Is there an example of this in action in recent days. Yes, there was a LOT of omission in the Occupy days, but lets see - lead in water, fungus on hospital sheets, legco reform vote etc... what is the evidence of Dr Evil having taken over the editorial affairs?

    Or is this a case of repeat the mantra "SCMP is biased" everything they print is biased, unless we read the same news rewritten on Coconuts?
    Last edited by shri; 21-07-2015 at 10:31 AM.

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    I think a large proportion of expats have made up their minds that the SCMP is pro-China, and no amount of daily critical China reporting will change their view.


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    Isn't it what's not reported the important factor?

    There are probably plenty of stories out there but the SCMP chooses not to cover it so it's not news in the English speaking world.


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    Quote Originally Posted by bookblogger:
    I think a large proportion of expats have made up their minds that the SCMP is pro-China, and no amount of daily critical China reporting will change their view.
    Ok, I get it ... sort of like the guys up north who cannot change their view about the democracy thing and all that.

    And I don't care about their China news as much as I care about their local news coverage. There are plenty of sources for China news, few for local news.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by East_coast:
    Isn't it what's not reported the important factor?

    There are probably plenty of stories out there but the SCMP chooses not to cover it so it's not news in the English speaking world.
    What are these stories? Using the last week as an example, what are the stories that they have ignored?

    (Keeping in mind that they have limited space in their printed version... given all the overseas properties ads that the news has to compete with...)

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