Accuracy in Media

The pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong have gone on for four months.

The protests originally started when Communist Party leadership proposed an extradition bill, which upset activists and civilians in the city. Activists claimed the extradition bill, if made into law, would give the Chinese central government enough power to quell free speech and democracy in the city by moving government critics out of the city and into the Communist Party’s judicial and prison systems.

Although the extradition bill was formally withdrawn last week, the protests continue in the former British colony. 

Much of the current coverage focused on the economic repercussions of the ongoing protests in Hong Kong, such as the dip in the city’s tourism industry and revenue. Estimates are in, and so far, Hong Kong’s tourism has dropped by 40 percent in August. BBC News, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal reported on the dip in tourism for the city, which illustrates the negative consequences of ongoing protests freezing an important industry for Hong Kong.

The media has also focused on the positives, despite this week’s negative news.

NBC News, CNBC and the Washington Post reported on pro-democracy protests in a positive light. The Post noted the pro-American sentiment among Hong Kong protesters, who waved an American flag during their protests. CNBC also reported on the same actions of waving an American flag during a protest. NBC News made a case that Chinese nationalists misunderstand Hong Kong’s protests.

So far, it is a mixed bag for the media on reporting about the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests. The media highlighted the drop in tourism due to the protests, but also noted the motivations behind the protests and the waving of the American flag by Hong Kong protesters.

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