Chinese Citizens Harass Journalists for Zhengzhou Flood Coverage

Foreign news correspondents have been harassed by Chinese citizens online and on the streets for covering the Zhengzhou flooding.

BBC’s China Correspondent Robin Brant was bombarded by angry comments on the Chinese social media platform Weibo after he questioned the government’s response to the flooding.  

According to Chinese Social Media users, Brant was a“rumor-mongering foreigner” and “seriously distorting the facts.”

“BBC reporter Robin Brant has appeared in disaster-stricken areas of our city many times, and has seriously distorted the facts. If you find this person, please call the police immediately,” said one post.

Stephen McDonell, another BBC journalist in China said that the hate campaign targeted their organization directly. 

The Chinese Communist Youth League called on citizens to follow Brant and report his whereabouts while other users called for other foreign journalists to be deported. 

Beijing Bureau chief for the LA Times Alice Su and Deutsche Welle’s China correspondent Mathias Boelinger were surrounded by an angry mob after Boelinger was mistaken for Brant. 

Su’s video has shown the angry citizens surrounding the journalists and shouting “this is China, get out of China!”

“They kept pushing me yelling that I was a bad guy and that I should stop smearing China. One guy [tried] to snatch my phone,” said Boelinger.

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