Chinese food security issue in Western media 2

As I mentioned in last blog, China as a developing country still has some problem in the process of development, such as the food safety issue. Fortunately, the Chinese government has already been aware of this issue and gradually takes some steps to improve this situation.

According to the report of food navigator Asia edition, 2015 could be a landmark year for China to reform the system of food security. The development of the society is inseparable with the policy that made by the authority. Besides, the politics can be a significant element that affects the media performance.

This news report focus on the government contribution of food safety issue, which is kind of similar with the coverage of Chinese media. Although it is a positive report for Chinese society, the content of this report made it seems like a mouthpiece of Chinese government. Sometimes, media work as an information provider, spreading the objective messages to the public. It is not wrong for the media outlets to reports the positive aspects of government actions. However, it cannot lose the function of watchdog, which means it has to find its own voice and began to express itself as watchdog, educator and entertainer.[1]

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Original website: www.foodnavigator-asia.com/Regions/China/China-s-make-or-break-year-for-food-safety-reform

[1] Malila, V., (2012). Globalization and communications policy: the role of the media in communications policy development in Kenya between 2002 and 2009.

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Chinese food security issue in Western media 1

With the great economic development of China, the food shortage issue was almost solved by the Chinese government in the beginning of 21st century. However, market-oriented economy lead to the cutthroat competition in some field. One of the biggest problems is the quality of food. There were a series of reports that show the food quality problem in China, and it is extremely urgent issue for Chinese government to deal with.

There are some foreign organizations devote to helping to promote the food quality in China and citizens’ consciousness of food security. For example, a European website foodnavigator.com launched an Asia edition for keeping a watchful eye on the news about the food security. This online news organization issued a report about the ConsumerLab, an US food nutrition test organization, which launched the Chinese-language services to test the quality of some Chinese food brand. This is almost objective news report that shows investigating of the nutrition of some Chinese food.

The framing of news outlets can affect the view of public. Most of the people trust in the reports from the news outlet, therefore developing trust with the public and a good reputation through the presentation and reporting of accurate, trustworthy information was seen as vital by media actors.[1] It is necessary for media outlets reports to edit the news objectively, and balance the rates of negative news and positive news.

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Original website: http://www.foodnavigator-asia.com/Formulation/ConsumerLab-takes-its-ingredient-safety-reports-to-China

[1] Wilson, A.M. et al., 2014. Media actors ’ perceptions of their roles in reporting food incidents. BMC Public Health, pp.1–11.

Malnutrition in picture: vivid image of food security problem in Nepal

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  • Jamuna arrived at the home at 37 months old weighing 6.5kg and suffering from 90% malnutrition. In the three months since his treatment started, Jamuna has gained 2kg and is now less than 60% malnourished.
  • Photograph: Omar Havana

According to Asian Development Bank, “undernourishment in childhood has been shown to be significantly linked with lower school performance, lower salaries and income in adult life, and lower birth weight for the next generation.” [1] Nutrition for citizen, especially for children, is a real developmental problem for most Asian countries.

The Guardian online released a collection of photos of the malnourished children in Nepal to show the current situation of food security issue in Nepal. It was released almost the same time with a critical report named “can Nepal achieve zero hunger in 10 years?”

However, these photos are different from the skeptical topic of the report, it showed some of the truthful and positive image in Nepal, such as mothers try to learn how to feed their children nutritious and balanced meals based on locally available food. Besides, each picture has a short description to illustrate the meaning of the picture.

The data of written report are more convincing, however, it cannot express the real situation as vivid as picture. The photograph could demonstrate the children’s condition in Nepal graphically, and show the mothers’ effort of helping their children to improve the level of nutrition through a series of photos. It is also an easier way for audiences to get the point directly, and this is one of the reasons that why most of all news reports are matched with a relevant picture while it released.

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Original website: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/gallery/2015/feb/05/rehabilitating-nepals-malnourished-children

[1] Asian Development Bank, (2013) Food Security in Asia and the Pacific. Asian Development Bank: Mandaluyong City, Philippines.

Critical review of Nepal’s zero hunger challenge

Nepal has joined the United Nation Secretary General’s Zero Hunger Challenge in the end of 2014. It was a tremendous attempt for Nepal to fight with hunger issue. However, the Guardian online raised a doubt that does it can be realized in 2025 with a third of children under five underweight.

According to the report of the Guardian online, malnutrition is a serious issue in Nepal, and there are only ten years for the Nepal’s government and some international assistant organizations to solve this problem. The Guardian online explores the root of malnutrition in Nepal, and the government performance on this issue to demonstrate the doubt of possibility of its realization.

Escobar (1995) pointed out that, “No aspect of development appears to be as straightforward as hunger.” He also mentioned that, “The symbolism of hunger, however, has proven powerful throughout the ages.”[1] The food shortage issue has been alleviated in 21st century. However, Hiroyuki Konuma, assistant director-general and regional representative for Asia and the Pacific, represented the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), described the hunger problem issue like that, “While the world presently produces enough food for all, it is not evenly distributed”.[2]

The guardian online focused on the new development of food shortage issue in the least developed countries and reported the issue with critical view, which can show the potential problem in the Zero Hunger Challenge program. It can help the public and the authority recognized the problem comprehensively and thoroughly.

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original report: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2015/feb/05/can-nepal-reach-zero-hunger-10-years

[1] Escobar, A. (1994). Encountering development: the making and unmaking of the third world. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

[2] Nepal launches National Zero Hunger Challenge, available at: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1412/S00159/nepal-launches-national-zero-hunger-challenge.htm

Constructive journalism: giving hope to the world 2

In last blog, I mentioned a positive news report about a new farming method in Bangladesh and how does the constructive journalism work. In this blog, it still focus on the positive news in Bangladesh.

A chronic shortage of vital micronutrients is also a condition that known as hidden hunger, and it exist in Bangladesh for a long-term. It can impact the health condition of maternal and child. However, according to the report of the Guardian online, a nutrition research program are processing in rural north-west Bangladesh and it found the micronutrients intake is a critical component of optimal maternal nutrition and health. This program can help the pregnant women in South Asia, even over the world, to improve their health and lives condition.

Constructive journalism can be seen as a framing process. The framing serves as a packaging process. The media organizations select some aspect of news that the journalists thought it is more salient, and cast away other aspects out of the package. Media outlets lead the audience to make attributions of responsibility through promoting a definition of problem. The constructive journalism is mainly focus on the positive side of news, and tries to provide the reason of problems and helpful advice to make contribution to the problems.[1] The negative news is always the major topic in some poor nations, people needs some positive element in their life. The positive news might be able to enlighten the people to find the way to fight with the problems and initiate a new life for their nation.

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Original report:

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2015/mar/09/supplements-for-pregnant-women-in-bangladesh-to-boost-nutrition

[1] Kim, S. H., Carvalho, J. P., & Davis, A. C. (2010). Talking about poverty: News framing of who is responsible for causing and fixing the problem. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 87(3-4), 563-581

Constructive journalism: giving hope to the world 1

Food shortage is the first layer of the food security issue, and it exists in those least developed countries and even some developing countries. Bangladesh is one of the least developed countries and people always suffer from flood, which is the main reason of food shortage and poverty of Bangladesh.

Although there are many problems in Bangladesh, the positive news still found some positive aspects about a new method of farming and pointed out it cloud boost food security and the economy of Bangladesh through growing rice and seafood side by side. The positive news can be a representative for the constructive journalism, which shows the optimistic aspects of some social issue. Such as the rescue of Ebola, hydrogen-powered cars for environmental protection, and the opportunity for young generation to create more equal economy during the economic crisis.

Constructive journalism aims to find specific social issues in order to explain why it happened and provide a good example solution for issues. Consequently, it can help people to organize their conceptual worlds in positive ways.[1] Such as the constructive conflict coverage can “contribute to process of de-escalation, peace building and reconciliation instead of escalating, exaggerating or ignoring conflicts.”[2] However, the constructive journalism has to base on the fact and cannot make up the news for meeting expectation of ‘positive’.

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Original news:

http://positivenews.org.uk/2013/environment/agriculture/12132/blue-green-revolution-boost-food-security-bangladesh/

[1] Metzger, M. J. (2000). When no news is good news: Inferring closure for news issues. Journalism and mass communication quarterly. Vol. 77, No.4. pp760-787.

[2] Blasi, B. (2004). Peace journalism and the news production process. Conflict and Communication Online. Vol. 3, No. 1/2

Chocolate in India: good or not?

Chocolate can be seen as a representative for the consequence of economic growth. It emerged as a dessert in all kinds of restaurants in India, which can show the development of India’s economic growth. However, the sugar in such desserts is responsible for diabetes, which has become a new threat to Indian people’s health.

India is one of the fastest growing developing countries in Asia. With the rapid development of economy, the environment, quality of life, and social welfare all improved dramatically in different level. Rapid accumulation of wealth reduced the famine and changed the diet of the middle and upper classes in India and also brought some potential health issue to Indians.

The Guardian online focused on this kind of development issue in some developing countries such as China and India. According to Sparks, communication could help change the situation for the better. Besides, news media could be used to change people’s minds so that they become ‘modern’ and able to learn live differently and better.[1] The Guardian online report this issue with a global and development perspective, such as making a comparison of constitution between Indian people and occidental people for analyzing the significance of this issue to India, and I believe it tended to attract developing countries’ attention, which have similar situation with India.

However, in this report, it did not mention much about the official policies or government actions for preventing this problem. I think it can be more critical to show some fact, such as the flaws of government actions, to urge the authorities to take action about this issue.

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Original report:  http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2015/mar/02/diabetes-india-south-asia-type-2

[1] Sparks, Colin. (2007). Globalization, Development and the Mass Media. London: Sage.

The British news report of obesity in China

Obesity is a serious health issue and closely linked with food safety. “China has entered the era of obesity”, said Ji Chengye, a healthcare planner of the Child and Adolescent Health Section in China, according to a report that was posted by the Guardian online.

The report also claimed that, “China has become the second most obese nation after the America in the numbers of overweight citizens”. I believe that the numbers will keep rising in next few decades, and this problem might impact the economic growth and state development in China.

Nevertheless, most people in China did not realize this problem; even the government did not pay much attention on this issue. Although this report mentioned some Chinese policies for solving obesity, the fact cannot be hide; the government financial support for obesity was almost none.

News media play an important role in the process of defining a social problem, and it can present the news to audience with a certain frame that can be a guide for audience to know what is important[1]. News media can help the society to realize problems they have and can be a supervisor for the public to deal with the problem. In this report, I think the Guardian online had done a comprehensive research about the obesity in China, and even showed potential damages on the society in the future. It can be a reminder for both Chinese people and the government to take obesity as a serious issue.

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Original website: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2015/feb/12/chinas-body-mass-time-bomb-policymakers-tackling-rising-obesity

[1] Kim, S. H., Carvalho, J. P., & Davis, A. C. (2010). Talking about poverty: News framing of who is responsible for causing and fixing the problem. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 87(3-4), 563-581

Welcome : )

Hi everyone, this blog is established by a journalism student studying Journalism at the University of Sheffield who concerns about the health and food safety problems in Asia and wants to express some opinions about these issues.

About this topic

Food safety is a significant issue that affects human health directly. It contains three layers of meaning: the first one is the quantity safety of food, which means a country or region could provide enough food to feed their people. The second is the quality of food. This mainly refers to the origins of food, such as food labeling, food hygiene, food additives, pesticide residues, and policies on food. And the third layer is the sustainability of food. It requires the government to put emphasis on the ecological environment protection. This blog will mainly focus on the first two aspects of the food safety.

Food safety problem might exist in anywhere, undetected. In some developed countries there are exacting standards for food-producing in order to reduce the possibility of food security problem. Food problems are more likely to happen in developing countries and the least developed countries, and the worse situation in some countries is the shortage of safe drinking water. Food safety issue, especially in the quantity layer, is always the vital problem in the least developed countries.

About the area

As we know, Asia is the most populous continent, which has around sixty per cent of the world population, meanwhile Asia is also the largest, geographically. The huge population can bring big food problems to Asian countries, especially for those less developed countries. The majority countries in Asia are developing countries such as China and India. Some of them even were identified as the least developed countries, such as Afghanistan, Nepal, and Laos. Those countries more of less have food safety problems that result in health problems, and this blog will pay attention to news reporting on British media about health and food safety issues.

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