A story of a woman being forced to abort her seventh month pregnancy is sending shockwaves throughout the Chinese blogosphere.
Bloggers and commentators are justifiably outraged at the incident, no part of which seemed very humane.
Given how much commentary is already on the internet, I won’t endeavor to add my own on the incident.
Instead I want to point out one of the frequent problems with the journalism on China’s One Child Policy.
Taking this story from the AFP wire for example, we get the following:
My problems with the way these sentences are structured.
I will add my own editorial voice here and say that I think this particular case of a forced abortion is terrible. I am deliberately passing judgement here and saying that whoever did it was in the wrong. However, I am also not categorically opposed to China’s One Child Policy. As a policy, I think it is morally ambiguous. We can make moral judgements on specific instances where the policy is implemented, but as a whole the policy is debatable.
I will also say that I think AFP story was poorly written and poorly edited. It was clear from the outset that it intended to criticize the One Child Policy rather than report the facts.
Of course, this type of editorializing doesn’t just occur with coverage of China and is not limited to the AFP, but it is concerning that even the most reliable sources of international news are prone to such errors.
What do you think?
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