News of the earthquake spread in real time across the
world as people used the internet to call for help [AFP]
This week on The Listening Post we take a look at the coverage of a disaster, how the media watched China cope with its worst earthquake in 30 years and the professional computer game players in South Korea - 21st century rock stars.

At 14:28 local time on Monday, May 12, a massive earthquake hit South West China.

The story spread in real time across the world as people used text messages and the internet to call for help and to record the unimaginable terror of those earth-shaking moments.

The global media immediately looked east, but would China open its doors and let the cameras in?

China allowed global media to cover
the devastating earthquake [Reuters]
2008 was not going according to China's international public relations plan after the violence in Tibet and the Olympic torch debacle created bad publicity around the world.

But this time access and pictures is exactly what the world got - in abundance. What does the coverage of this disaster say about China, its media and the willingness of this mighty and proud nation to open up to the world when at its most vulnerable?

In part two of the programme, we travel to South Korea, for the unusual world of Pro-Gaming.

With 10-year-old graphics and clunky PC gameplay Starcraft is an odd choice for South Korea's computer game of choice. But hoards of screaming fans and big corporate money attest to a serious national obsession.

PC games have become an obsession with
computer geeks in South Korea [Getty]
Sam Sapin spends time at the training house of one team and gets a taste of this peculiarly Korean phenomenon that has turned computer geeks into teenage pin ups.

In this week's Newsbytes the BBC get caught using a picture of the 2006 Tsunami to depict the 2008 cyclone in Myanmar; Le Monde make the same mistake, substituting a picture of an earthquake for the devastated Hiroshima; the French government plans new legislation to force journalists to reveal their sources; US broadcast regulators rule against further consolidation of the media market; and the meaning of 'appeasement' is argued about on MSNBC.

Our internet video is in fact our own cheeky mash-up of a number of viral videos that have been racking up hits this week.

At the centre of it all is a vintage video clip of a very angry TV host - Bill O'Reilly. The clip inspired a number of spoofs and we have put them together this week.

Catch Bill O'Reilly's original onscreen outburst

Watch part one of this episode of The Listening Post

Watch part two of this episode of The Listening Post


This episode of The Listening Post aired on Friday, May 23, 2008

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