British media leader BBC became the target of the Chinese public's anger over its use of an outdated photograph in a China-bashing article on its website.
The BBC's Chinese website last Wednesday carried an 8-year-old photo showing two Chinese policemen looking at a computer monitor in an article quoting a US senator who accused China of "spying" on Internet users in hotels during this summer's Games - an allegation the Chinese government has refuted.
The report quickly spread among Chinese websites and blogs, becoming one of the hottest topics of online banter over the weekend. Many critics said they were less agitated by the fact the recent article was biased against China than the company had used the same image in different China-bashing articles over the past eight years.
Netizens found BBC had used the photograph in July and October in 2006 in articles accusing China of developing "Internet blacklists"; in September 2002 in an article saying China was strengthening online monitoring firewalls; and in July 2001, in reports accusing China of Internet censorship. The earliest record was in August 2000, in which the photo ran with the caption: "Authorities wary of the web".
The BBC's Chinese website last Wednesday carried an 8-year-old photo showing two Chinese policemen looking at a computer monitor in an article
The two policemen in the picture were clad in green shirts, which the police haven't worn since 2001.
"By using the same picture repeatedly for eight years in reports attacking China, the BBC is showing admirable persistence," a netizen posted on the bulletin board system of a Chinese news website.
"The Chinese police uniform changed long ago. Shouldn't they do some more fact finding before attacking China?" another netizen wrote.
(China Daily August 4, 2008)