The BBC Has Lost Its Former Aura of an “Impartial” Media
—a letter to the BBC China editor Carrie
by Chen Zhen from China
Hello, Ms. Carrie. I’m a faithful reader of the BBC Chinese website and also an ordinary Christian of the Church of Almighty God. After I read your article A Report on the Spot: The Chinese Cult that Kills “Demons” (August 14) and watched a short video in which you personally did an interview, The Murder in Zhaoyuan, Shandong Province and the Cult (August 15), I felt awfully sorry and disappointed and was unspeakably sorrowful and indignant.
In my heart, the BBC is the most long-standing and most respected media in the world, which has been upholding the values of being true, accurate, fair, impartial, and independent in the last hundred years. From the BBC’s report on “6/4 Incident” of China which shocked the world and its report on Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, I saw that the BBC reporters, at the risk of their lives, broke through the CCP’s blockades, entered into the scene of the news to interview, gained the first-hand materials, and made reports that were objective, impartial, independent, and fact-based. They earned the respect of hundreds of millions of people. I felt that the BBC held fast to justice and safeguarded human rights and dignity and that such a media was worthy of respect. From the BBC’s “editorial values,” I ever saw that “trust is the foundation of the BBC: we are independent, impartial and honest,” and “we seek to establish the truth of what has happened and are committed to achieving due accuracy in all our output.” That made me see the demeanor of the media most respected by the whole world. However, Ms. Carrie’s report on the case in Zhaoyuan, Shandong Province and the Church of Almighty God is out of normal character, which is very puzzling.
In the report on the Church of Almighty God, you didn’t investigate independently as usual but directly quoted the report by the CCP’s mouthpiece, CCTV. You firstly agreed that the six murderers of “the Murder in Zhaoyuan, Shandong Province” are members of the Church of Almighty God, but you didn’t interview the Church of Almighty God or check out the identities of Zhang Lidong and the others with the Church of Almighty God. You confirmed that Zhang Lidong and the others are members of the Church of Almighty God only according to the CCP’s report. It is void of the media’s objective and impartial attitude, and it is against the BBC’s editorial value that “we are independent and impartial.” Sensible people all know that “the Murder in Zhaoyuan, Shandong Province” is the excuse the CCP found to intentionally frame the Church of Almighty God and launch a full-fledged crackdown on the underground churches especially the Church of Almighty God, so as to safeguard its dictatorial rule for fear that its dictatorship might be threatened. That is exactly the same as it suppressed “6/4 Incident” promoted by the patriotic students on the charge of anticipating counter-revolutionary riot that year. Such a scheme the ordinary Chinese people have debunked could actually make the BBC, the British media with a long history, lose its sharp outsight, so that you reported on the basis of the false news created through the CCP’s lies and deceptions and stood on the same ground with the CCP boldly. If you had been in line with the BBC’s “independent” value, you would have personally investigated “the Murder in Zhaoyuan, Shandong Province” that is full of holes and exposed by the public; if you had been in line with the BBC’s “impartial” value, you wouldn’t have listened to only one side. You could have known something about the Church of Almighty God, their creed, and the fact of their being persecuted directly through the website of the Church of Almighty God. Then I believe that you would have drawn a correct conclusion very easily: The CCP frames and cruelly persecutes the Church of Almighty God, attempting to exterminate the Christians of the Church of Almighty God; the real Christians of the Church of Almighty God won’t do anything illegal, and in contrary, they are all honest and kind people. If you had interviewed any Christian of the Church of Almighty God, he would have told you responsibly that Zhang Lidong and the others are absolutely not the Christians of the Church of Almighty God; if you had an objective and impartial attitude, you would have surely come to a conclusion which is totally different from this report. However, it’s really a pity! You’ve abandoned the BBC’s values and undoubtedly kept a high degree of uniformity with the CCP, becoming the accomplice of the CCP persecuting the Church of Almighty God and the supporter of this evil party.
Next, you interviewed a man named Wang Jiannan. He said that his sister and mother began to believe in the “cult” twenty years ago. It is reported that on October 1 last year, his sister beat their father to death. Like the murder of Zhaoyuan, Shandong Province, she saw her father as a “demon” who must be destroyed. After killing her father, she handed herself into police and is now in prison. According to its consistent way of doing things, the BBC would have definitely made an in-depth report of this matter and got to the bottom of it. However, it stopped and agreed with Wang’s statement. Just think: It has been over twenty years since Almighty God worked in China and there are millions of followers of Almighty God. If they had acted by “killing demons,” these millions of people would have killed countless people in over twenty years. But why haven’t it caused a panic among people? If that were true, why hasn’t the Chinese government reported it? Did the CCP shield the Church of Almighty God? Even I, such a common person, can spot the flaw. Why can’t Ms Carrie, experienced and knowledgeable, find it out? Never did I expect that the BBC that takes “being honest” as its value could fool the public like this.
Now the whole world is unmasking the CCP and it acknowledges that the CCP is more evil than the Nazi. Don’t you know about it? Many countries in Europe oppose and reject the CCP. As a mainstream media, you should know more clearly than us. Why do you believe the CCP’s report but not the fact of the underground churches’ being persecuted? Why do you stand on the side of the CCP to persecute the underground churches? If the Nazi still exists, will you also stand on its side? Now I suspect the BBC’s values, because your deed has overthrown the universal values acknowledged by the world. I also suspect the media purpose you pursue, because what you do now fits well with the saying among the Chinese people “selling horse meat as beefsteak.” The reputation of the BBC’s being “impartial” is already inconsistent with what you do.
BBC, BBC, what’s wrong with you? What drives you to fall and be unworthy to be trusted like the mouthpiece media of the CCP? Is it true as the hearsay says, “this report serves as a gift in return to the Chinese Premier, who brought a large trade deal worth 14 billion pounds when he paid a visit to British in June”? Is it true that the BBC sells out the media’s dignity in order that British can gain economic benefits from China? Or is the economic situation of the BBC so bad that it would rather discard its dignity? Does the BBC really bow for gaining favors? I can’t help sighing, “The BBC has lost its former aura of an ‘impartial’ media and the heart of its readers and audiences. The future of the BBC is worrying! There is a well-known saying in China, “Water can overturn the boat as well as float it.” May the BBC respect itself!
August 18, 2014