The big story of the weekend for many China/media-types is the front page New York Times story about how Bloomberg has allegedly been spiking stories deemed too controversial for China.
Bloomberg is denying killing any stories, but the report has been picked up by people like James Fallows and places like Gawker, and the Financial Times has a nice follow-up that suggests one story spiked may have been about financial links between China’s richest man and government officials.
Obviously, journalists are fascinated by a story that appears to show a worrying example of a news organisation acquiescing to state pressure for business reasons. But there’s another, stranger aspect to the case — the story appears to have been first broken in an animated video from Taiwan’s Next Media Animation on Friday.
Here’s that video:
Next Media Animation have gained international recognition for their animated videos about hot news topics. Generally, the videos function as sort of funny explainers, complete with silly sound effects and comic exaggeration — here’s a video they did about Manti Te’o, for example.
This new video, however, appears to be the first time that they’ve broken serious news with a video. (The video was uploaded to YouTube one day before the Times story went live, and the Times journalist who wrote the story has referenced it in a blog post).
Could animated news be the future? Well, no, probably not, but this whole story is certainly a strange example of changing media environments.
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