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article imageChinese Reporter "Scoops" A Story In Bad Taste

By Michelle Duffy     Jul 23, 2007 in Food
Perhaps it is not just the western world's news journalists who are short on the odd scoop or two that they have to make up their own tales. It has cost one Chinese reporter his immediate freedom after he faked a story about cardboard buns
Beijing reporter, Zi Beijia, is the suspect being held by police at the moment since it was discovered that in order to create a good scoop, he made up a story about buns being sold with cardboard stuffed inside them.
He even went to great lengths to present hidden camera footage apparently showing workers making the pork buns with cardboard soaked in caustic soda.
The film was an obvious scam as he later confessed to paying a handful of people to make the buns after buying the ingredients himself.
The news was snatched up by wires across the world - even the BBC fell for it printing it on their Internet home page.
It might have been highly amusing if it wasn't for the fact there have been some serious food scares around in China only recently. The scares have involved the discovery of toxic fish and cancer causing eggs. All in all you could say, that the bun "scoop" was done in the worst possible taste.
So how did he come up with the idea? Zi told police that he had been investigating the making of pork buns and because the story had been dull and unimaginative, he thought he would "spice" the story up a little since he had been under enormous pressure to come up with a good story.
The aftermath of the scoop has created waves through the press around the world and even resulting in a public apology on Beijing television saying that the scoop had made a "vile impact on society".
Yet another result came in the form of spot checks where 24 pork bun selling vendors were jumped upon by inspectors just to make sure there wasn't any cardboard around inside the buns.
At least it proves that the authorities of China take their food very seriously..
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