By Sasha Padbidri
Zhao Pu, an anchor at the state-owned China Central Television (CCTV) is said to have been booted from his routine program after advising people on his Weibo not to eat solid yogurt due to contamination scares.
Wang Sijing, a reporter with the 21st Century Business Herald, commented on the situation –
“CCTV employees told me: 1.What Zhao Pu did spoiled an on-going investigative report; 2. the investigative report has been abolished [by superiors]; 3. Zhao was not suspended from his position, but only criticized in a circulated notice, and he is now taking a holiday; 4. the first mention came from sources close to the event and with higher reliability; 5. none of the above comments are 100 percent sure.”
Taking a holiday, seriously? For his sake, we hope Zhao isn’t vacationing at the Jixi labor camp.
This isn’t the first time a journalist has been arrested over spreading malignant rumors. Just last year, Li Xiang, a reporter for Luoyang TV, was stabbed to death outside a karaoke bar. This incident happened shortly after he posted a tweet on Weibo about a suspected underground factory manufacturing illegal ‘recycled’ kitchen oil.
In a country where food safety remains a highly sensitive topic, journalists need to tread carefully, especially when posting such contentious information online for it could ignite significant backlash from the public. Yang Jiang, the chief journalist of Xinmin Weekly Magazine concurs by commenting on the Zhao case –
“In my opinion, when he releases such kind of information, he should release the names of the companies concerned and evidence. It’s inappropriate to merely release a warning which concerns an entire industry. He should be cautious.”