China TV: To Show – or Not – a Thrown Shoe

Reporters on the Job: The nuts and bolts of China’s TV censorship can be hard to fathom. (Read my story about a new 'Chinese CNN' here.)
The other night, for example, when somebody threw a shoe at Premier Wen Jiabao as he gave a speech at Cambridge University in England, China’s state-run Channel 4, the news channel, cut away from its live coverage as soon as producers saw something untoward had happened.

But China’s Channel 1 continued its coverage as if nothing had happened.

It took CCTV a full day to carry the shoe-throwing story on its news casts.

So perhaps the Channel 1 censor was just dozing at the time of the incident (it was past midnight in China). Or perhaps different censors take different views of what is acceptable. It is impossible to know.

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