New York Times discreetly deletes Chinese propaganda as it severs ties with Beijing-based media

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(Photo by Jonathan Torgovnik/Getty Images)

The New York Times will reportedly no longer be giving a platform for propaganda from the Chinese Communist Party.

In line with a decision to stop accepting ads from state-run media, the newspaper has apparently been deleting hundreds of advertorials that were paid for by China, ending a partnership with Beijing-based China Daily, which is owned by the government’s communist party.

“We made the decision at the beginning of this year to stop accepting branded content ads from state run media, which includes China Daily,” a spokeswoman for the Times told the Washington Free Beacon, which reported that, over the last ten years, the liberal newspaper has run more than 200 propaganda articles while also publishing many pieces exposing Chinese government oppression.

Besides The New York Times, U.S. newspapers such as the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal have exposed their readers for years to Chinese propaganda, receiving millions of dollars in sales for advertising space given to spread the Chinese propaganda through outlets like China Daily which has published Chinese propaganda in the U.S. since it was registered as a foreign agent in 1983.

A Human Rights Watch researcher hoped other media outlets would follow the lead of the Times.

“If you care about the truth, then don’t participate in the Chinese government’s machinery of propaganda, censorship, and repression,” Yaqiu Wang told the Free Beacon.

The move by the Times to end its relationship with China Daily, and to scrub existing ads from their site, was applauded by Rep. Jim Banks on Twitter.

“The New York Times has done excellent, detailed reporting on the ongoing Communist Party atrocities in Xinjiang and around the world,” the Indiana Republican wrote.

“That reporting has finally had an effect—at the New York Times—and it no longer supports covering up the CCP’s barbarity. I hope the other outlets follow suit and start putting American values over Communist bribes,” the lawmaker and member of Congress’s China Task Force added.

Banks and more than 30 other members of Congress demanded that the Justice Department launch a “full-fledged investigation” into China Daily earlier this year after the Washington Free Beacon had reported that the outlet had broken the law by not following federal disclosure requirements.

“Propaganda that seeks to obfuscate communist atrocities deserves to be counteracted,” a letter from the group to Attorney General William Barr read, noting that the Foreign Agents Registration Act “already arms the federal government with tools to fight pernicious foreign influence. The DOJ should use them to clamp down on Chinese propaganda.”

According to the Washington Free Beacon:

Following the demand, China Daily submitted a revised disclosure of its U.S. activities since 2016, revealing previously undisclosed details about its ties with U.S. media organs.

The new disclosure revealed that the Post and the Journal each received more than $100,000 per month to run print versions of Chinese propaganda articles. The Times received $50,000 in 2018 to place the propaganda on its website, presumably a small fraction of the revenue it made selling print space to China Daily.

 

Newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Houston Chronicle were reportedly paid thousands of dollars to print copies of the China Daily to be distributed in local areas.

Last year, Banks had targeted the newspaper when he found that it was being delivered to nearly every member of Congress.

“Uninformed staffers could easily mistake China Daily for a legitimate news source regarding China-U.S. relations and the Chinese regime’s policies,” the GOP lawmaker wrote to the Committee on House Administration. “That’s clearly the intention of the Chinese Communist Party.”

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Frieda Powers

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