Front Page of the Day
Posted by Eric Mu on Monday, June 30, 2008 at 5:21 PM
Most of today's newspapers featured the results of the investigation of the South China Tiger photograph incident on their front page.
Yesterday, the government of Shaanxi Province called a press conference to release the results of their lengthy investigation. The investigation officially confirmed public suspicion that the photos of the tiger were forged.
According to The Beijing News: The tiger appearing in the photos taken by Zhou Zhenglong in October 2007 was in fact a photograph of the tiger cut out of a poster and planted in the jungle. Using his faked photos, in October of 2007 Zhou claimed to have documented a wild South China Tiger, long thought to be extinct in the wild. He received 20,000 yuan from the local forestry department for his "discovery". To make his story more credible, Zhou also photographed fake "tiger's footprint" he created with a wooden model of tiger's claw.
Zhou Zhenglong is now being held in police custody; 13 government officials, among them two vice directors of the province's forestry department, have been punished for "negligence" or "inappropriate expression of opinions". Six of them have been dismissed from their positions.
Despite what the government has done so far, suspicions remain that the long-overdue release of the investigation's results and the punishment of the participants is unlikely to finalize the case. The Beijing News quoted a lawyer, Li Guifang, saying that these officials could face further criminal charges.
Many believe that Zhou the farmer photographer is only a scapegoat in the fraud and the local government has a deeper involvement.
Links and Sources
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The Eurasian Face : Blacksmith Books, a publishing house in Hong Kong, is behind The Eurasian Face, a collection of photographs by Kirsteen Zimmern. Below is an excerpt from the series:
Big in China: An adapted excerpt from Big In China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising A Family, Playing The Blues and Becoming A Star in China, just published this month. Author Alan Paul tells the story of arriving in Beijing as a trailing spouse, starting a blues band, raising kids and trying to make sense of China.
Pallavi Aiyar's Chinese Whiskers: Pallavi Aiyar's first novel, Chinese Whiskers, a modern fable set in contemporary Beijing, will be published in January 2011. Aiyar currently lives in Brussels where she writes about Europe for the Business Standard. Below she gives permissions for an excerpt.
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