This is funny. ShanghaiDaily.com has stopped time-stamping its stories with the text “Beijing Time” because many news sources — including several other state-owned papers — assumed that Shanghai Daily had simply copied the information from a paper called the Beijing Time (there actually is a Chinese-language paper called the Beijing Times). (To the right, see an example from Sina.com, which, it seems, got the erroneous attribution from Xinhua.) The Shanghai Daily editor explains on his blog:
We added this term originally to help readers from outside of China know the exact time that stories were published. We had never expected people to misunderstand that as our attribution to the Chinese-language newspaper. We can’t help thinking of an old joke, saying that when a person was asked about The New York Times, he told others “10 o’clock.”
We always think this is only a joke, but yesterday, the joke came true – other English-language Websites used our story “BOC set to sell gold for dollars” and gave the credit to “Beijing Times.” One of a journalist’s most important responsibilities is to verify the facts of their articles. It’s hard to imagine that a reporter would use a story without carefully checking and thinking – How can a Chinese-language newspaper produce an English story about Shanghai?
Such a joke also happened to another person, who said he wanted to search for a Shanghai Daily story on our Website but failed. We found it for him and showed it to him, while he said: “The story is from Beijing Times, not Shanghai Daily.”