A Chinese television reporter recently demonstrated exactly what not to wear when covering a natural disaster.
Earlier this week, a Xiamen TV journalist was photographed conducting an interview with volunteers helping to clean up the city after Typhoon Meranti. Along with a microphone, the female reporter’s other accessories included a pair of sunglasses, a handbag and an umbrella to keep her out of the sun.
The strongest storm of the year, Typhoon Meranti made landfall in mainland China near Xiamen last Thursday, causing hundreds of thousands of people to lose power and running water. Considering the circumstances, many netizens believed that the reporter’s attire showed a basic lack of respect for volunteer workers and victims, and the photo quickly went viral on Chinese social media.
The unnamed journalist’s employer seems to have agreed with netizens. On Tuesday, the company issued a statement on its official Weibo account saying that the reporter had been suspended from her job for failing to conduct the interview properly and for “damaging the image of journalists and negatively impacting society.”
On Weibo, some netizens agreed with the quick and forceful punishment:
“Bravo, to this company! Journalists need to learn to show their respect for the people,” one web user wrote.
While others think that all of this social media shaming is becoming too much:
“This company is just trying to cover its own ass and has gone overboard. The reporter should not be suspended,” argued another netizen.
The BBC reports that one of the first Weibo users to share the picture of the journalist online has been labeled a “modern day Red Guard” by her fellow netizens.
The reporter isn’t the first one to possibly lose her job because of Typhoon Meranti. Last Friday, a Zhejiang official was fired after a photo of him being carried over a muddy puddle in a disaster zone also went viral on Chinese social media.
Once again, this just goes to show that anyone in the public eye needs to learn from China’s tireless premier Li Keqiang:
Why stand in the water when there are steps just behind you? pic.twitter.com/5GYxFiiAy2
— Chris Buckley 储百亮 (@ChuBailiang) July 6, 2016
[Images via Sina]