China Power

Media Handling 101

Some Chinese officials might want to rethink their domestic media handling skills.

I’ve written before about the challenges China faces as it tries to spin its image to a skeptical Western media. After all, it doesn’t matter how fancy an Olympic opening ceremony you put on, if people find out the fireworks were CGI and the performers had to wear adult nappies because they weren’t allowed toilet breaks, then this somewhat undercuts the effect.

But it seems the government needs to help its officials brush up on their domestic media handling skills as well. According to a report on news site Caijing (now removed, it seems) Hubei Province Gov. Li Hongzhong was asked by a reporter from the People’s Daily about the case of hotel worker Deng Yujiao, who allegedly stabbed an ‘overbearing’ local official.

Asked by the reporter about her murder charge being dismissed, Li apparently challenged the reporter’s credentials and demanded to know the name of her boss before snatching her voice recorder and storming out of the room.