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News Link • Media: Print

Beijing on the Potomac


An advertising partnership between the Washington Post and a Chinese government propaganda outlet is raising questions about the propriety—and legality—of an American news outlet publishing foreign propaganda under its masthead.

At issue is the Post’s China Watch publication, a print and online advertising supplement that purports to deliver the news about China. The site hosts numerous articles and feature pieces that portray the Chinese government—particularly its human rights record—in a glowing light.

Some journalism experts and China observers say the partnership crosses ethical boundaries and misleads unassuming readers about the Chinese government’s lackluster record on a host of important issues.

The China Watch website, which features the Washington Post’s official masthead, looks like many other online news sites, containing videos, articles, and slideshows. However, a small block of text in the website’s right-hand corner offers a disclaimer: “A Paid Supplement to The Washington Post.”

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