Another point of view: the slippery slope of censorship
In June, the Hong Kong Apple Daily, a newspaper founded “not to remain silent in the face of unreasonable restrictions and unfair treatment,” was forced to shut down by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) under its law on national security.
You would think that the CCP’s style of harsh censorship and revisionist history would not spread to Canada, but Chinese-language media in Canada have faced censorship from mainland China before.
Kenneth Yau, radio talk show host in Toronto. was fired because of his criticism of a pro-Chinese community leader.
Yau, who often takes a critical stance towards China, was fired by Fairchild Radio’s AM1430 in 2019, which the station said was because of “a lot of complaints about his attitude and tone” and not to because of his criticisms.
Anita Lee, host of AM1470 from Fairchild in Vancouver, was fired for supporting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong and playing the pro-democracy anthem Glory to Hong Kong on the air.
Fairchild is partly owned by TVB, a Hong Kong-based television network known for its pro-China bias.
Chinese Canadians complain of a pro-Beijing orientation in Chinese-language media in Canada, and Chinese communities are reluctant to criticize China.
An anonymous source in a Chinese-language media in the Toronto area said he would be fired if he mentioned anything against Beijing, such as the crackdown on the Falun Gong movement or the Dalai Lama.
Victor Ho, former editor-in-chief of Sing Tao, Canada’s most popular Chinese-language newspaper, said reporting critical of China has largely disappeared from Canadian Chinese-language media. He said media owners wanted to stay in China’s good graces for business reasons.
The problem has gone largely unnoticed in Canada due to the language barrier between the media and non-Chinese speaking Canadians.
Ho suggests that the Canadian government pass laws to require that China’s “agents”, such as the media supporting the CCP, register as foreign missions to limit influence abroad, as a law passed. in Australia.
Pro-Beijing influences have already appeared in the North American media.
Recently, Disney has come under fire for adapting its films to Chinese audiences and even ignoring the Uyghur genocide by filming parts of the Mulan movie near Uyghur concentration camps in Xinjiang.
World Wrestling Entertainment wrestler and actor John Cena was forced to return to a Twitter post calling Taiwan a “country,” allegedly due to WWE’s business interests in China.
With China’s penchant for censorship and Chinese-language media supporting Beijing’s style of truth denial, this development is of grave concern to the Canadian media and our ability to report dissenting views.
If China can influence the Chinese-language news media inside Canada, how long before it does in the English-language news media?
Steve Marlow is the Program Coordinator at CFBX, an independent radio station in Kamloops, located on the Thompson Rivers University campus. Tune in to 92.5 FM on the dial or connect to thex.ca.