China Daily Insert Disguised as News in WaPo, WSJ, Others
In a new form of propaganda, China Daily, the official English mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, inserts paid ads that look like normal articles in newspapers around the world. The article title calls Shen Yun “A Blasphemy That Masquerades as Art” and, most disturbingly, appears to the undiscerning eye as a regular article written by the newspaper. Therefore, while it gives the normal party line attacking Shen Yun and Falun Gong, it appears to be written by the esteemed Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, or London Telegraph, to name just a few of the papers who carried this paid insert.
The scale of this blitz is still being uncovered, with media as far as Melbourne Australia and Nashville Tennessee reportedly carrying the identical ad.
The insert is published under the heading China Watch; it appears like a special topic section of the newspaper, with only fine print identifying it as paid content. This media business practice has been called into question for being ethically problematic by publications from The Atlantic on the left to Life Site on the right.
Russia (with the insert titled “Russia Now”) and China are the main sources of such content in an uptick in the production of propaganda for foreign consumption.
According to Cliff Kincaid, director of Accuracy In Media‘s Center for Investigative Journalism, Washington Post owners and editors “are lending their logo to this foreign propaganda,” adding that “If you didn’t know where this comes from, it looks like a regular newspaper.” (quote source)