By Matthew Little
|Apr 10, 2008|
CCTV-4, the Chinese language television channel airing in Canada via Rogers Cable, has escalated its propaganda-style coverage of events surrounding Tibet, according to a detailed analysis of CCTV programming by The Epoch Times.
CCTV is China's national television station and under the direct control of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The CCP has a long history of using various state-controlled media to incite hatred or justify severe persecution of a specific group of people. Past targets include landowners, intellectuals, business people, Buddhists, democratic countries and Falun Gong adherents.
Last week Tibet supporters rallied outside the main office of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to ask the regulator to withdraw the channel.
At that time CCTV 4 was broadcasting segments on Tibet that ranged from a few minutes to 15 minutes in length, up to eight times day. Typical airtime on Tibetan issues is now four hours a day.
In the segments, Chinese police were described as using "maximum restraint" in Tibet while followers of the Dalai Lama are repeatedly called "lawless rioters" who inflict "atrocities" on innocent people.
The broadcasts quote Chinese people professing their hatred of the protesters, who are said to be taking directions from the Dalai Lama.
In recent days, CCTV has increased its coverage on Tibet to include documentaries, talk shows, commentaries, in-depth reports and news coverage.
Much of the coverage now airing on CCTV details the current "happy life" in Tibet.
A recent "documentary" that aired on the channel described the Tibetan people as suffering terrible misery under the Dalai Lama but now enjoying a privileged life under Chinese Communist Party rule.
The documentary, entitled The Dalai Lama, concludes that Tibetans "have now realized that they had once admired the Dalai Lama but he had only given people endless sufferings. It was the people's government (CCP) that has led them to democracy, freedom and happiness." (Translated).
Other programs appear aimed at stirring up nationalist fervour. One such program profiled a committed communist party member, Tibetan officer Jiang Yong Xi Rao. The show described him as "an outstanding young Tibetan officer who is determined to love the party and serve the country."
Coverage of the Olympics has also increased in a similar vein.
Earlier CCTV-4 broadcasts are believed to have helped inspire a rally in Toronto at the end of March that blamed Tibetans for the recent violence in Tibet.
A flyer for the event included still images from CCTV that purported to show atrocities committed by Tibetan followers of the Dalai Lama.
Participants at the rally were videotaped hollering "Dalai Lama die!" and "You don't know the truth!" to Tibetan activists who had gathered to protest.
A spokesperson for the CRTC confirmed that the regulator has received a complaint regarding CCTV's coverage of Tibet. The spokesperson said CCTV's programming would now be analyzed to see what further actions should be taken but the process could take months.
David Purdy, the vice president of Rogers Cable, which airs CCTV-4, said Rogers was not responsible for monitoring or censoring the content of channels that air through Rogers Cable.