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Foreign Media Cover Protesters` Attack on Newspaper

Posted July. 01, 2008 03:13,   


As the candlelight vigils are rapidly becoming violent, foreign media outlets are expressing their concerns. Some of them even used the word “rioter.”

The Asahi Shimbun of Japan reported Sunday in its article entitled “Rioters attack newspaper companies,” “Some participants of anti-government demonstrations have become rioters, violently clashing with riot police every day and attacking newspaper companies.” Asahi is known as a liberal media outlet in Japan.

The newspaper pointed out, “While tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in candlelight vigils of early last month, there recently are increasing voices criticizing violent demonstrations on the Web site of civic organizations.”

The Nihon Keizai Shimbun also reported on its Web site that day, “Labor unions and civic organizations staged a violent demonstration. Some protesters turned into rioters in the process and clashed with police. As the protests are becoming violent, the number of participants is dropping.”

The Nishi Nihon Shimbun reported Saturday in a column by its Korea correspondent entitled “Rioters attack newspaper companies” “The protests on the night of June 29 became totally violent. A photo reporter from the Dong-A Ilbo was choked and fainted.”

The newspaper pointed out, “Protesters of that day were the ‘extreme leftist, violent group’ without helmets, while the word has become obsolete in Japan.”

The column also expressed concerns by saying, “If there is a continuing sensational coverage when the item to be imported was confirmed to be safe in accordance with the international standard, (Japanese) readers could think that Koreans do not listen to others.”

The Global Times, an international news affiliate of China`s People`s Daily, ran the photo of protesters on the front page of its June 30 edition under the title of “Korean demonstrations show a violent tendency.” It also reported the protests in detail on the fourth page under the title of “As protesters become violent, police adopt tough measures for the first time.”

The New York Times, AFP and CNN also covered the demonstrations, focusing on violence.

sya@donga.com bonhong@donga.com