By Bridget O’Donnell
Following yesterday’s arrest of five activists from the Hong Kong-based ‘Action Committee for Defending the Diaoyu Islands’ in Japan, the Xiamen Daily ran a photo from the event on its front page. The only problem? It was photoshopped.
In the original photo, three of the activists are shown holding flags — two from the PRC and one from Taiwan. But in the Xiamen newspaper’s photo, the ROC flag — which has been widely used on the island since 1949 when the KMT retreated to Taiwan — has been magically turned into a Chinese one:
The photo is making the rounds on Weibo today. One user, @小小铜豌豆V, called for Xiamen Daily Editor-in-Chief, Huang Yubin (@黄毓斌), to resign. Another user, @浪子布回头, posted the original photo next to the newspaper’s front page, saying: “The media is blatantly fraudulent! What kind of country is this?! Bah!” As of 2:30 pm this afternoon, his post had over 3,000 comments and 11,000 reblogs — many expressing anger and disappointment with the national media.
A few newspapers took a slightly more “honest” approach by placing headlines over the photo that strategically blocked the flag:
Jingbao (left), The Wu Desert Morning News (middle) and Beijing News (right).
Various news outlets, including CCTV, simply cropped the image so that the flag couldn’t be seen at all.