The Ottawa Citizen (Canada), Aug. 21, 2002
The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council has slammed a Chinese-language TV station for airing a news story in this country loaded with Chinese government propaganda against the Falun Gong spiritual group.
The news item was shown in December on the B.C.-based TalentVision pay channel, which serves the Mandarin-speaking segment of the Chinese-Canadian community in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. The story — picked up by TalentVision from the state-run Chinese broadcaster CCTV — was about an accused killer in China who was believed to be a member of Falun Gong.
The practice of Falun Gong, which combines exercises and spiritual instruction, was banned three years ago in China.
The story carried by TalentVision concluded with a CCTV newsreader saying that the man — who was accused of butchering his wife and father to help fulfil their spiritual destiny — “was a caring and loving son and husband” but that “all that changed when he started practising Falun Gong in 1998. After indulging in, being influenced through, and spiritually controlled by (Falun Gong founder) Li Hongzhi and the Falun Gong evil cult organization, he marched toward the edge of criminality until he became so utterly inhumane as to murder his father and wife.”
The CBSC, which investigates charges of shoddy journalism among Canada’s 500 private broadcasters, received 20 complaints about the report and a petition signed by more than 1,200 members of the Falun Dafa Association of Canada.
The council ruled that the CCTV newsreader’s statement “is not journalism; it is nothing more or less than a biased attack on Falun Gong by the producer of that news item.”
Under its obligations as a member of the CBSC, TalentVision is required to broadcast an announcement of the council’s ruling.