CGTN depiction of British journalist “unfair”, UK broadcast regulator rules


Ofcom, a UK broadcast regulator, ruled against CGTN on Monday about a complaint by the Chinese national broadcaster about “unfair or unfair treatment” by British journalist Peter Humphrey.

According to Safeguard Defenders, a non-governmental human rights organization (NGO) that supported the complaint, this is the eleventh Chinese broadcast that has been continuously found to violate British broadcast law. CGTN has been fined a total of £ 425,000 ($ 540,000) for violations so far, according to NGOs.

The license for CGTN to broadcast in the UK was previously revoked because it was “eventually controlled by an agency controlled by the Chinese Communist Party,” but regulators said it was “related to the broadcast that took place.” I still have the authority to complete the ruling of an ongoing investigation. ” Before expiration.

Ofcom partially supports Humphrey’s complaint, saying that CGTN did not take reasonable care in a show aired on December 27, 2019 to prevent Humphrey from being treated unfairly. Did.

Analyzing the edition of the “The Point” program Humphrey’s article published in The Sunday Times On December 22, 2019, there were reports from other “Western media” that broke the story of Tesco’s charity Christmas card, including a message from a Chinese prison, and took up the story.

“We are a foreign prisoner in Shanghai Qingpu Prison, China. We were forced to work against our will. Please help us and notify human rights groups. Use the link to Peter Peter. Please contact Mr. Humphrey “, a message written in all capital letters will be read.

Girl holding a Christmas card
Florence Widycom, 6, will pose in London on December 22, 2019 with a Tesco Christmas card in the same pack as the card containing a message from a Chinese prisoner. (Domini Klipinsky via AP / PA)

This card was discovered by British schoolgirl Florence Widicom, whose father pursued Humphrey.

Humphrey, a former journalist who has worked in China or with Chinese for the past 46 years, has also been imprisoned in China for 23 months, as did his wife, Yingzeng Yu, a Chinese-born U.S. citizen, for buying and selling personal data. I did. The allegation he made is “fake” and “has never been heard in court.”

Humphrey had previously told the Epoch Times that Chinese state police had forced him to take medicine, tie him to a metal chair in a small cage, and “confess” from a pre-written statement. He also said that he and his wife were “exposed twice to forced confessions on Chinese television broadcast by CGTN and CCTV, and these two stations were willing to extract and package their material. I’m involved. “

Ofcom was previously a former licensee of CGTN in the UK due to “serious” violations of UK broadcast regulations by several compulsory confessions, including Humphrey, and biased coverage of anti-democratic movements in Hong Kong. I was fined.

In a Sunday Times article, Humphrey said the author of the Christmas card message must have known him during the nine months he spent in the same suburban prison.

He also said that many other former prisoners in the informal network, dubbed “Qingpu Prison Alumni Association,” were forced to “manually manually assemble or pack foreign prisoner unit prisoners.” “I have confirmed that.”

and Another article published on December 29, 2019Two days after CGTN aired the problematic program, Humphrey said he found one of two Nigerian writers who wrote 10 messages between them.

Peter Humphrey 2
Peter Humphrey, a former journalist and consultant who has been imprisoned in China for two years, speaks with the UK’s NTD. (NTD / Screenshot)

A former prisoner identified as Antoine was released two months before Widicom found the card while his conspirators were still in prison. Both have denied allegations that they landed in prison.

Humphrey’s story about alleged forced labor of foreign prisoners caught the attention of the Western media, and Tesco shut down Chinese suppliers.

CGTN presenter Li Quiyuan commented on the story, calling the Sunday Times article “first-person commentary” and “irresponsible journalism” in an attempt to undermine Humphrey’s story in a 30-minute program. .. Disadvantage to the reader. “

She also mentioned Humphrey’s imprisonment in China before claiming that “his view is, of course, biased, but the Times could not adequately and properly inform the audience of this bias.” did.

When asked to explain Humphrey, guest Einer Tangen, who was described as an “incumbent commentator” and claimed to know Humphrey directly, said Humphrey “has a clear grudge against China.” Insisted.

Ofcom said CGTN “thought that it was not necessary to seek a response from The Sunday Times or Mr. Humphrey” to the regulatory agency, claiming that their views were “expressed through what was written in the article.”

Epoch Times Photo
A dateless photo showing the logo of Ofcom, the UK broadcast and communications regulator. (Yui Mok / PA Media)

In that ruling (pdf), Regulators released on Monday took reasonable precautions to satisfy themselves that CGTN “is not presented, ignored or omitted in the program in an unfair way for Humphrey. I found two violations: “I haven’t paid.”

The two violations relate to the way Humphrey presented a claim suggesting that Humphrey coordinated the case and wrote the story as an act of “vengeance” against China, which was not given the opportunity to respond appropriately or in a timely manner. Ofcom said that Humphrey’s program described him as an untrained journalist who reported the content of the article incorrectly.

It is unclear whether regulatory agencies will fine for violations.

In response to the ruling, Humphrey said, “CGTN is again guilty of crime and is punished for broadcasting offensive content, including intentional lies and distortions aimed at hurting people, in this case me. It’s good to see that. “

Humphrey said in a statement by Safeguard Defenders: It’s completely on many topics. “

Calling it a “classical communist propaganda machine,” Humphrey said the practices of the two broadcasters are a million miles away from the country’s civilized standards under the rule of law. .. They do not respect consent, fairness, ethics, or the law in broadcasting. “

“One of the things we have in the UK is the best broadcast law and the best regulatory agency for broadcast waves, which Ofcom has done with China in multiple cases,” he added. rice field.

CGTN did not respond to the Epoch Times’ request for comment.

Lily Chow


Lily Zhou is a freelance writer who mainly covers the British news of The Epoch Times.