The project features new social welfare protections, medical insurance for farmers, elimination of the traditional taxes on farm income, eased access to medical care, free public school education for children and generally improved standards of living and life opportunities for farmers.
By any reasonable standard, such a story, involving the lives of so many people, should have very high news value.
Curious to see how Western media would report this story, I searched for "China and New Socialist Countryside" in Google News shortly after the project was announced and found just a paltry 52 links. Most of them were from Chinese English-language sources like China Daily.
However, when I searched on the same day for "China and human rights" I got 5,185 links, mostly for the same few stories, carried over-and-over in thousands of periodicals.
This experience brought home to me just how filtered and misrepresented Chinese reality is when viewed through Western media. Many more examples of Western media "self-censorship" on China could be adduced, such as:
The failure to properly inform people about China's highly innovative "Scientific Outlook on Development".
This concept could be considered one of the most advanced economic policies in the world because it seeks to replace one-sided emphasis on "economic growth" with a concept of holistic development that takes into account economic, social, and ecological concerns.