Principled Profit: The Good Business Blog

Musings on the world-wide movement for ethical business, frugal marketing, and how honesty, integrity, and quality combine with deep relationship building to create business success. By the originator of the Ethical Business Pledge campaign and award-winning author of Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First and five other books

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tibet: Is the Media Showing the Truth?

Here’s a website that shows falsely captioned photos as well as photos cropped in such a way as to completely change their meaning. The topic is the violence in Tibet–but according to this site, many of the pictures are actually from India or Nepal, or show things other than the Chinese anti-Tibet violence that they purport to.

Let me state my biases upfront:

• I am a supporter of the Free Tibet movement, and have been so since 1978 when I learned about Chinese repression there
• I have been increasingly aware of what appears to be a disinformation campaign by the Chinese government to discredit the Free Tibet movement–and I recognize the possibility that this website could be part of that disinformation campaign
• I attended a speech by the Dalai Lama in 1982, and in 1993 my wife and I hosted a young Tibetan woman for over a year, as part of the Tibetan Refugee Resettlement Project

Still, even as a supporter of Tibetan freedom, I am appalled to see this apparent media distortion, even though it helps “my side.”

I’m no photo expert, and it’s possible that this site is offering Photoshopped doctoring of its own, or is mislabeling the pictures. But my gut tells me the captions on this website are accurate, and that the mainstream media in the US, Germany, France, Asia, and UK have run photos that claim to show one thing and actually show something completely different. It’s not the first time this has happened; one prominent example in the relatively recent past is the toppling of Saddam’s statue in Baghdad–made to look like a huge an enthusiastic, locally originated event that was actually staged by US Marines in front of a small crowd that may have been comprised primarily of supporters of the discredited Ahmed Chalabi.

Which does make me wonder whether the CIA or similar organizations have their fingers in this apparent distortion of the Tibet reportage, and wonder who has been feeding the media these islabeled or cropped-to-distortion images.


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