mandag 28. juni 2021

What China's extensive coverage of the Miami condo collapse says about its own priorities

The partial collapse of a residential building in Surfside, Florida has garnered widespread attention in China, where images of rescue workers combing through the debris have featured prominently on state media and nightly news programs. But amid the intense focus on the unfolding tragedy in the United States, many Chinese internet users have questioned why a deadly incident at home has received such minimal media coverage and so little attention on social media.

In the early hours of Friday, a fire tore through a martial arts school in central Henan province, killing 18 students -- mostly children -- and injuring 16 others, according to a local government statement and state media reports.

Such loss of life would, under normal circumstances, be a major tragedy that both shocks and saddens the nation, dominating news headlines and social media for days. But with the Communist Party's all-important centenary just days away, such harrowing news is the last thing the party's propaganda apparatus wants to highlight -- at least not when it occurs inside of China. On Weibo, China's heavily censored version of Twitter, users left angry commentsasking why the fire wasn't ranked in the top 50 trending topics of the day, with some accusing censors of suppressing discussion and preventing the news from gaining traction.