Another victory as the Wall Street Journal and Australian media drop Chinese propaganda

16th December 2020

Attention now turns to the Los Angeles Times

We are happy to announce another victory with the news that several more newspapers have dropped Chinese-government-paid content. The victory follows persistent campaigning from Free Tibet and its partners in the Tibet, Uyghur and Hong Kong movements. 

The latest newspapers to cut ties with Chinese state media are the US-based Wall Street Journal and multiple prestigious Australian newspapers. 

This month, campaign groups established that the Wall Street Journal has parted ways with China Daily, a state media outlet under the direct control of the Chinese Communist Party that was specifically established to promote the Party’s policies and viewpoints abroad. According to a disclosure by China Daily under the USA’s Foreign Agents Registration Act, payments ceased to the Wall Street Journal over the summer. This came after at least three and a half years of the newspaper including regular supplements called China Watch, which consisted of propaganda pieces written by pro-CCP journalists, hailing China’s policies in Tibet and against the Uyghur people, and promoting its trade and foreign policies.

Nearly 3,800 Free Tibet supporters took part in the action, while a joint petition promoted by a coalition campaign groups has been signed by over 9,600 people.

There was further good news last week, as news emerged that the Australian media group Nine Entertainment, whose publications include the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian Financial Review and the Age, also quietly dropped their partnership with China Daily. The newspapers, previously under the ownership of Fairfax Media, had been running China Daily articles since 2016 and also appear to have severed ties over the summer. 

These successes follow on from the Telegraph and the Economist ending deals with Chinese state media earlier this year.

The recent successes have added to the campaign’s momentum and our attention has now immediately shifted to targeting the Los Angeles Times, which according to China Daily’s FARA report, received $340,000 for advertising campaigns between May and October 2020. 

The most recent China Watch supplement to appear in the Los Angeles Times, dated 29 November, featured a Tibet Special, which included a particularly concerning article stating that Tibetans are “embracing new changes in life” in what is. In reality, a mass labour programme involving over half a million Tibetans have forced many rural Tibetans from their land and, in some cases, have undergone ideological “re-education”. 

Campaign groups including Free Tibet have contacted the editor of the Los Angeles Times twice already with no response, prompting a new action calling supporters to contact the newspaper, demanding that it reject China Daily.

Take action

Tell the editor of the Los Angeles Times to drop the propaganda and cut ties with China Daily.