Week 7: How International media tell China’s story

Coverage of Tibet: an initial analysis

JMSC6058   Ying Chan

Journalism and Media Studies Centre

October 27, 2011


News on self immolation,Tibet

Monks’ immolation: Tibet PM-in-exile seeks UN help

India Today – 7 minutes ago

The prime minister of Tibetan government-in-exile, Lobsang Sangay, on Thursday expressed shock at the number of acts of selfimmolation by monks in the 333 related articles

Tibetan protests against China turn desperate as self-immolations   Globe and Mail

Tenth Tibetan Reported to SelfImmolate in Anti-China Protest  New York Times339 related articles

Tibetan monk’s suicide try seen in leaked video
Self-Immolation of Tibetan Monk Lobsang Konchok

Dalai Lama politicizes monk suicides
Global Times
Sept 28, 2011

The news that two Tibetan monks inSichuanProvinceset themselves alight Monday attracted attention from Western media outlets. They invariably quoted a source from Dharamsala, home to the Dalai Lama’s group in exile, and claimed the self-immolations were protests againstChina’s curbs on religious freedom.

If the tragedy indeed took place as depicted by Western media, it is the Dalai Lama group who should take moral responsibility for it.

Self-immolation in protest has no place in the widening space for individual expression inChina. The Dalai Lama group’s use of such extreme acts is repulsive.

They appear to sympathize with the two teenage monks, but in fact make nasty calculations to turn these acts into political gains.

Huffington Post

China Accuses Dalai Lama Of Inciting Self-Immolation

/11/11 03:29 PM ET  

The “single” administration, as the Dalai Lama proposed, would cover the Tibet Autonomous Region, the wholeQinghaiProvince, parts ofSichuan,YunnanandGansuprovinces


  • Protests inTibet, 2008,
  • Dalai Lama ceding political power, 3/2011
  • Election of Prime Minister of exiled government, 8/2011
  • New Party Secretray Appointed 8/2011
  • Obama meets Dalai, 7/2011
  • Wave of self-immolations, 3-9, 2011


Chinese security forces inLhasa,Tibet, took cover during a fifth day of protests. The banner overhead reads, “Strengthen public safety management, safeguard political stability.”Beijingis facing the most serious demonstrations inTibetsince the 1980s


Chen Quanguo appointed Party Secretary of Tibet
法國國際廣播電台8月26日報道,56歲的陳全國長期在河南工作,1998年李克強從共青团中央第一書記轉任河南省長時,陳是副省長,兩人同年,對河南工作富有經驗的陳全國5年來對李克強幫助良多,因此被視為李的親信。2009年陳全國接替团派的崛起之星胡春華出任河北省長,這次更被委派封藏 大吏,顯示得到高層賞識。

陈全国1955年11月出生,河南平舆人。新任西藏党委書記的陳全國,河南人,1955年11月生。參過軍、当過工人,历任河南省副省長,省委常委、組織部長和省委副書記,河北省委副書記、副省長、代省長、省長。是十七屆中央候補委員。。2009年调河北省工作,历任省委副书记、代省长、省长。是十七届中央候补委 员

Media coverage ofTibet

Initial observations

  • Narrow news agenda
  • Limited sources
  • News agenda shaped by overseas Tibetan groups
  • No access to location: all stories filed fromBeijing

Sources for Int’l media


  • RussiaToday Chinese
  • 俄罗斯之声中文网日前发表报道,题为《中国指责达赖喇嘛是“伪装的恐怖主义”》,摘编如下:

北京指责西藏精神领袖达赖喇嘛支持和鼓励西藏 喇嘛自焚,称这是“伪装的恐怖主义”。


Context of self-immolation

–        Thich Quang Duc in 1963. Under the rule of Ngo Dinh Diem, South Vietnam

–        Mohamed Bouazizi, Dec. 17, 2010

–        Copycats in N.Africa:4 inAlgeria,2 inEgypt,1 inMauritania

–        Afghanistan: Women Set Themselves on Fire

  • China?

Mohamed Bouazizi  (1984-2010)

is considered as the Tunisian national hero who ignited the Tunisian revolution in January of 2011, which toppled the corrupt regime of former Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali backed by the west.

Chinain the international news

  • Eurozone crisis

–       Chinato the rescue?

–       The Yuan bill in Congress

  • Korea

–        Nuclear disarmament

–        the six party talks

  • SE Asia

–       South China Seadispute

–       Burma– the dam

  • Africa

–       Zambia

–       Libya  – post Gadhafi

  •  ??

Tibet in NYT text

NYT on Tibet links

Tibet PD report

Thank You!
See you next week


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