Accuracy in Media

Protests in Hong Kong against its authoritarian government has reached its tenth week and shows little sign of abating. The mainstream media has reported on the protests, but their main focus is on domestic affairs such as the 2020 presidential election between President Donald Trump and one of many Democratic Party challengers.

The Washington Post published an analysis, “China won’t turn Hong Kong’s protests into another Tiananmen Square. At least, not yet,” by Ishaan Tharoor. According to his byline, Tharoor worked for Time magazine as a senior editor and correspondent in Hong Kong before working for the Washington Post.

Tharoor’s analysis noted the tension between the pro-democracy protesters and the Hong Kong police’s crackdown in the name of law and order. Protesters clashed with police in the city’s airport, one of the busiest international airports in the world, leaving several protesters bloodied. Neither side, Tharoor said, “seem willing to cede any ground.” The protests began when the Hong Kong government, staffed by Communist Party officials, proposed an extradition bill, which was later tabled.

But, the most important point made by Tharoor is whether the Communist Party leadership in Beijing will let “Hong Kong’s young people continue to stand so defiantly against them,” especially knowing that the Tiananmen Square protests occurred thirty years ago in 1989. The analysis’s uncertainty is reassuring for media critics because it shows that the Washington Post will not look the other way when an authoritarian crackdown on pro-democracy protesters will occur, whether in China or elsewhere.

Despite the Washington Post’s anti-Trump fervor and liberal media bias, their analysis’s insecurity about whether China will crack down on pro-democracy protesters is an encouraging sign that the newspaper values the freedom to protest, no matter their partisan leaning.

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