World » Asia
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Chinese TV program offers contestants to guess number of victims in Beslan crisis

A Chinese TV channel arranged a show from the tragedy

The tragedy in Beslan made a lot of people think about the way Western media outlets presented Russia in their reports. It is an open secret that Western news agencies prefer to call Chechen terrorists 'rebels.' It could be seen during the hostage crisis in Moscow, after the explosion of suburban trains in the Stavropol region and terrorist acts in the Moscow metro. When terrorists seized the school in Beslan, they were still referred to as 'rebels' in the West.

However, Western journalists have never thought of making a show from a tragedy. The show was arranged in China, though. The Chinese channel CCTV-4 aired an entertainment program on September 6th – just several days after hundreds of children were killed in Beslan. The program was held in the form of a contest. A host offered contestants to answer several questions, picking the correct answer from several suggested variants. One of the questions was about the number of victims in the terrorist act in Beslan, North Ossetia. The contestants were supposed to choose the correct number of victims – from 302 to 402.

The CCTV-4 is a state-owned channel, which broadcasts its programs for foreign audience.

The program of the Chinese channel enraged Moscow politicians, although no official person expressed his opinion or commented the situation. It can be probably explained with a series of visits of Chinese officials to Moscow, Chinese State Council Premier Wen Jiabao, for example. The Russian administration apparently decided to not stir up a scandal on the threshold of negotiations. It is noteworthy, though, that several managers of the above-mentioned TV channel were fired. In addition, television companies were prohibited from broadcasting similar programs without permission from the Chinese administration.

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