Chinese Television Guilty of Violation of Just and Fair Reporting
British regulator announced on Monday new fines against Beijing-directed two Chinese television channels and upheld complaints of unjust or unfair reporting.
Ofcom announced on Monday it upheld this complaint about unjust or unfair treatment in the Chinese CGTN programme as broadcast and unwarranted infringement of privacy both in connection with the obtaining of material included in the programme, and in the programme as broadcast. CGTN broadcast China 24, a news programme which reported on the release by the police in China of CCTV footage of Mr Simon Cheng which it said showed him “soliciting prostitutes and of his trial in August”.
But the accusations used by the Ministry of Security police against Mr. Cheng were false. Mr. Simon Cheng is an innocent brave man who loves his fatherland, Hong Kong. Beijing regime targeted him also to terrify his colleagues who were protesting against the Beijing extradition law and for free speech in Taiwan.
He was kidnapped by the secret police agents in August of 2019 and illegally transferred to a prison in Mainland China. After a prolonged period of both physical and mental torture, Chinese police forced Mr. Cheng to record several videos for the Chinese Ministry of State Security.
CGTN as Beijing propaganda arm tried to portray falsely Mr. Cheng as criminal. It broke all decency rules including fair reporting principles airing his forced confessions. Mr. Simon Cheng is an innocent brave man who loves his fatherland, Hong Kong.
CGTN had ignored all of these circumstances and blatantly broadcasted the forced confessions on its global channel.
The human rights organisation Safeguard Defenders filed complaints to Ofcom on behalf of the Chinese dissidents and British journalists who were treated unfairly and unjustly by Chinese television.
Fines for airing footage of forced confessions of an innocent man
A day earlier has fined Chinese state broadcaster CGTN a total of £225,000 (AUS $452,058) for breaching fairness, privacy and due impartiality requirements in its news broadcasting.
It imposed a £125,000 (AUS $226,029) financial penalty for four editions of The World Today and one of China 24 in 2019 which were not duly impartial in their reporting of protests in Hong Kong against Government plans to allow extradition to mainland China.
The regulator separately imposed a penalty of £100,000 (AUS $180,806) on the broadcaster for two programmes which aired in 2013 and 2014 while it was still named CCTV News.
CGTN was found by Ofcom pursuing unfair and unjust practices in their reporting thus breaking all journalistic principles.
The fine relates to a report on the China 24 programme that included footage of jailed British citizen Peter Humphrey appearing to confess to a criminal offence, and to a follow-up report on News Hour that featured footage of him appearing to apologise.
Both fines were “appropriate and proportionate in the circumstances” because of the seriousness of the breaches, Ofcom said.
Ofcom revoked English-language CGTN’s licence last month after discovering its licence-holder held no editorial responsibility for its content and that it wanted to formally transfer the licence to an entity controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.