a comparison

April 15th, 2012

A quick comparison:

Jia Qinglin is visiting New Zealand. Yahoo’s NZ edition has a typically short Newstalk ZB report which mentions that he’s ranked 4th in the Chinese leadership, he’ll be there for 4 days, is hosted by acting PM Bill English, and will meet the governor general and Speaker Lockwood Smith (but why give the Speaker’s name, but not the governor general’s?) and visit Christchurch and Queenstown. Earth to Radioland: news does require detail. It’s not just the filler that holds your ads together. Right, so I generally don’t bother reading anything with a radio station’s name attached, I only opened this one for the sake of comparing.

Xinhua (via Sohu) quotes Jia saying lots of nice stuff about NZ-Chinese relations, and also manages to point out that in fact he is in Christchurch (rather than somewhere in NZ with a view to visiting Christchurch), and says Minister of Primary Industries David Carter, Christchurch mayor Bob Parker, other NZ officials, and Chinese ambassador to New Zealand Xu Jianguo were at the airport to meet him.

Stuff has the headline Chinese leader tours red zone, then agrees with Newstalk ZB about Jia’s 4th rank. It has Jia met at the Christchurch airport military terminal by David Carter, Bob Parker, and unnamed representatives of Ngai Tahu. He’s photographed looking all bright orange with Gerry Brownlee in Cathedral Square, and it’s reported that he’ll tour the red zone and the Antarctic Centre, have a lunch meeting with Bob Parker, head off to Arrowtown to visit the Southern Lakes District Museum and Chinese Settlement, visit Queenstown tomorrow and Wellington on Tuesday.

The NZ Herald has Fran O’Sullivan opining last Wednesday on the uncertainty injected into NZ’s foreign investment regime by Justice Forrie’s rejection of the Shanghai Pengxin bid for the Crafar Farms, a piece that starts with a couple of pertinent reminders:

The Government clearly hopes the Crafar Farms’ controversy will be put to bed before China’s fourth-ranked leader Jia Qinglin visits Christchurch and Wellington in mid-April.

Jia’s 130-strong entourage will include several major Chinese investors in New Zealand companies. Many of them will be on a shopping mission armed with capital, manufacturing capacity, distribution channels and commercial links to the rapidly evolving Chinese consumer market.

It would be nice if she explained why it is now doubtful that Jia will announce “special Chinese Government financial assistance to rebuild Christchurch.” But a glance through today’s Herald has me wondering if she’s the only one in Auckland who’s even noticed he was on his way.

Well, Stuff does have a huge advantage in that it’s parent company also happens to own the Press, and therefore already had people on the ground without having to stump up plane fare and accomodation, but still, I would’ve thought the Herald would at least have somebody paying attention.

TVNZ seems to be completely unaware Jia has done anything since 2008. That search was done at roughly 3:30pm NZ time – I’d've thought they’d at least manage to get some news about Jia’s morning in Christchurch up by then.

TV3 has at least noticed Jia is on his way, although adds no new information to what Stuff has.

I don’t know if I have a point to make. Just thought I’d compare.

It’s interesting that Xinhua focusses on what Jia has to say while the NZ media, when they’ve noticed he’s visiting, are only interested on who and where he visits and completely ignore what he or any of his party or their Kiwi hosts has to say.

And I guess it goes to show why, if you want to know what’s going on in the world, you need to get your news from a wide variety of sources.

And it’s yet another example of why I find myself wondering how Kiwis can be expected to respond rationally to the rise of China or Chinese investment in New Zealand when the NZ media’s coverage of Chinese stories is full of such gaping holes.

As you were.

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