Who is qualified to report on China’s corruption?
by Chris Zappone
This just doesn’t look good. It’s possible journalist Michael Forsythe was already going to be leaving Bloomberg before he was revealed as the source of the story detailing the media company’s reluctance to go hard on China corruption stories. But even if he was, Bloomberg should have taken extra care around this.
The reality is that China’s leadership will continue to be sensitive to reporting on their corruption. Nonetheless, the role of
the Western media is to continue to report on it. If it doesn’t, Western media would be providing tacit acceptance of the
corruption. Rather than the news being about the wealth amassed by leaders in the Chinese system, the non-news becomes the
acceptance of that kind of feudal graft.
Imagine a future, in which corruption in the West is freely pursued as a news story but in China, there is a strange silent
journalistic resignation about it.
For Bloomberg, you wonder how much is on the line through their markets data division. If the company has to tamp down its own
investigative efforts in China, in order to assure access to those markets, then companies like the New York Times, Washington
Post and the Daily Telegraph – i.e. ones without market data divisions – are better placed to cover China credibly.