Lest you think this weekend’s bullet train accident will interfere with China’s infrastructure push, check out how the crash is being reported in China.
Media has been forbidden from drawing links between the crash and the development of high speed rail, according to directives leaked and posted at China Media Project:
“On the Wenzhou train collision accident, various media must report information from the Ministry of Railways in a timely manner, media from various regions must not send reporters [to the scene] to report the story, and child papers and magazines as well as websites must especially be managed well. Links must not be made to the development of the high-speed rail, and reports looking back (反思性报道) must not be done.”
“Latest demands on the Wenzhou train collision accident: 1. Figures on the number of dead must follow numbers from authoritative departments; 2. Frequency of reports must not be too dense; 3. More reporting should be done on stories that are extremely moving, for example people donating blood and taxi drivers not accepting fares; 4. There must be no seeking after the causes [of the accident], rather, statements from authoritative departments must be followed; 5. No looking back and no commentary.
” . . . From now on, the Wenzhou train accident should be reported along the theme of ‘major love in the face of major disaster’. No calling into doubt, no development [of further issues], no speculation, and no dissemination [of such things] on personal microblogs! . . . “
See also the optimistic tone in the state-owned Global Times:
The deadly crash on Saturday should become a bloody lesson for the entire railway industry in China. It should become a starting point for safer railway standards. The public should continue their attention and criticism and push authorities to respond quickly and fix problems. Nevertheless, people ought to make rational judgments.
The accident should promote the nation to develop a safer and more convenient high-speed railway network, rather than pull it back to the era of sluggish rail traffic.
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