Popular US-Based Chinese TV Station Denied Accreditation to Cover the 2017 United Nations General Assembly


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Veteran journalist Lixin Yang, who has worked with NTD Television Chinese for over 10 years, has been denied accreditation to cover the 2017 United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), after an unusually long wait. Being U.S.-based, NTD Chinese is the largest Chinese television network outside of China. It was founded in 2001 as an antidote to Chinese government censorship and propaganda efforts.

Mr. Yang applied for accreditation Sept. 1, 2017. Following a process which the U.N. website describes as taking up to 48 hours, he did not hear back until Sept. 18, despite repeated requests for a response. On that date he received a response verbally and via an automated email, stating: “Your media accreditation request, with reference no: M51883882, has been declined for the following reason: Media accreditation is not accorded advocacy publications.”

“It’s outrageous for UNGA, an organization that is supposed to uphold freedom of expression, to deny NTD Television, a rare independent Chinese-language television network, access for so-called ‘advocacy’—especially when Chinese state media enjoy full accreditation,” said John Tang, CEO of NTD. “Ultimately who’s losing out are the millions of viewers inside and outside of China who rely on NTD for news and independent information.”

As an NTD journalist, Mr. Yang has been accredited at the U.S. Congress, State Department, White House, European Union, and the United Nations in Geneva, among other institutions, creating hundreds of reports. Mr. Yang is a board member of the Press Club Brussels Europe, and a member of the International Press Association, and the National Press Club, D.C.

Given Mr. Yang’s extensive experience covering international meetings at the highest level, NTD can see no reason for this denial—except the Chinese government influencing this outcome.

August 2017 comScore statistics offer evidence of NTD’s popularity among Chinese Americans, showing that its website receives four times more unique visitors than Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television, six times more than Chinese state news agency Xinhua, and 10 times more than Chinese state broadcaster CCTV (Chinese Central Television). NTD has millions of viewers inside China via an unencrypted satellite transmission and on the web via powerful censorship circumvention software.

The Chinese government has been attempting to silence NTD since its inception in 2001. These attempts to interfere with NTD operations have been independently documented by various international observers, most recently at the May 2017 USCC hearing on China’s Information Controls, Global Media Influence, And Cyber Warfare Strategy (official transcript: https://goo.gl/9jKQxr; search for NTD).

“We certainly appreciate that the Chinese government might consider NTD’s reporting ‘advocacy.’ But this is the same regime that calls democracy advocates and religious believers ‘criminals,’ while preventing media from reporting on human rights abuses and public health disasters,” said Mr. Tang. “We urge the UN not to inadvertently contribute to this effort and instead, to accredit Lixin Yang immediately, to participate in this session.”

CONTACT:    Tel: (646) 455-1475    Email: jan.j@ntdtv.com

Copy of NTD letter to Mr. Tal Mekel, Acting Chief, UN Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit: https://goo.gl/taau6L

About NTD Television
NTD Television is a New York-based global news and entertainment media founded in 2001. Consistently ranked among the top 10 digital news and media properties in the world, NTD engages and informs audiences by creating and curating content aimed at providing truthful information, inspiration and positivity. NTD provides the only truly independent print news and television programs for Chinese people worldwide. Counteracting the Chinese Communist Party’s censorship and propaganda, New Tang Dynasty Television has grown to become the largest Chinese-language media outside of mainland China. Their combined satellite, cable, and print platforms reach a global audience of over 230 million. NTD reaches billions of people on digital platforms and social media with its values of truth, humanity and hope.

Source: NTD Television