Obama and China: Did the US media get it wrong?

Howard French, formerly of the New York Times, seems to think so.

The China Herald blog talks about French’s interview with the Columbia Journalism Review about the coverage of the U.S. president’s trip to China.

Here are the CJR reports:

One of the complaints French had about the coverage was the lack of context:

It doesn’t give a realistic impression of what past behavior was like, diplomatically speaking, and what it achieved when we were really vocal and remonstrative; and it also doesn’t—in this critical, immediate insta-pundit analysis of what Obama achieved—it doesn’t allow for the fact that he, himself, said what he was going to do before he got on the airplane, so to what extent did his behavior actually fit the pattern of his own announced style and agenda? It’s like the press is on its own script without reference to either history or Obama’s announced intentions.

And this is surprising?

This is a constant complaint about international coverage — at least by many of us who think the rest of the world matters. Editors back home don’t seem to care. International process stories don’t sell papers or on-air ads. What is the “local, local, local” angle and stay with that.

And yet, the context of what is going on in China and in other countries is important to understand the news of today.

Tags: , ,

Defending the First Amendment and promoting open government are more crucial now than ever. Join SPJ's fight for the public’s right to know — either as an SPJ Supporter or a professional, student or retired journalist.


Twitter Facebook Google Plus RSS Instagram Pinterest Pinterest LinkedIn

© Society of Professional Journalists. All rights reserved. Legal

Society of Professional Journalists
Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center, 3909 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208
317/927-8000 | Fax: 317/920-4789 | Contact SPJ Headquarters | Employment Opportunities | Advertise with SPJ