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Listening Post
Chinese whispers: Murder, mystery, the media
We examine a scandal that has seen the single voice of the Chinese state compete with a cacophony of online voices.
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2012 09:40

When Chinese politician Bo Xilai was suspended from his high-profile post last month, few could have predicted it would become the biggest political drama China has seen in decades. It is now a tangled web of murder, corruption and political in-fighting - and the media have been spinning the narrative in all directions.

State controlled outlets were always going to back the government decision to oust Bo, but in a country where millions are now logging on to micro-blogging sites every day, new media is alive with breaking news, often speculating on developments ahead of the official propaganda machine. In this week's News Divide, we look at a political scandal that has seen the single voice of the state competing with a cacophony of online voices.

This week's News Bytes: A Mexican viral video gets pulled from the web and criticised for dressing-up child actors as drug traffickers and corrupt politicians; Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange makes his debut as a talk show host for the Kremlin-backed channel RT; a British production company starts work on a film about Rupert Murdoch and it is not about the hacking scandal; and what happened to the Fox News employee who dispatched anonymous memos from within its New York headquarters?

North Korea: The cult of the Kims

For the past few months, North Korea's propaganda department has been working overtime. Since the death of its so-called 'Great leader' Kim Jong-il last December, the country's 'Propaganda and Agitation' department has been fashioning a cult of personality around his unelected successor, the third and youngest son, Kim Jong-un.

Any public humiliation over the failed satellite launch paled alongside the triumph that was the new Supreme Leader's debut speech. And this, together with myriad publicity stunts and a starring role in a two-hour documentary recently broadcast on state TV, marks a new chapter in the cult of the Kims.

In this week's feature, Listening Post's Meenakshi Ravi reveals the lengths North Korea's propaganda department will go to to ensure Kim Jong-un's image lives up to his father's legacy.

For a country that is pretty much closed off to the global media, the eccentricities of North Korea's Kim dynasty have inspired a slew of satirists working on the web. Our internet video of the week, The Adventures of Kim Jong-un, produced by US-based website College Humour, is a cartoon that pokes fun at the new leader's cult status. Keep an eye out for the Supreme Leader's backing duo, Barack Obama and American actor Bruce Willis. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

 
Listening Post can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Saturday: 0830, 1930; Sunday: 1430; Monday: 0430.

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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