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Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Journalism and rumour busting in China

There has been lots of talk about journalists' role in refuting rumours on Twitter during the recent riots in the UK.

A slightly different take on the same issue has emerged in China with the establishment of a "rumour busting league" by former Xinhua agency journalist Dou Hanzhang.

The Financial Times reports that Mr Dou's league has been trying to expose "rumours" passed on by microbloggers since May.

But his site only attracted significant attention when it began attacking "rumours" surrounding government attempts to cover up details of last month's fatal rail crash.

According to the Southern Metropolis Daily, Mr Dou's league was rather selective in its definition of rumour:
“It targets only rumours that originate with ordinary people and neglects rumours created by the government, and uses official statements as the basis and starting point of its [campaigns]”.

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