Primary File

Cable News Network: CNN Apologizes to the Chinese People

Doi, T., Morley, P., Munkel, A., and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)
February 15, 2018
North America
Strategy & General Management, Ethics & Social Justice
9 pages
Social Justice, ethics, statements, negative image, International
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.68)
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On April 9, 2008, Jack Cafferty made comments concerning the United States’ relationship with China. These comments included calling the Chinese “goons and thugs” and labeling Chinese products “junk.” Over the next month and a half, thousands of Chinese Americans organized outside of CNN studios across the U.S. demanding an apology from Cafferty and CNN. CNN responded with silence, clarifying statements, and thin apologies, all of which served to fuel negative opinion and ultimately elevate the story to international headlines.

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. To provide an example of a conflict of interest that may arise when a news company must cover the news at its own detriment;
  2. To demonstrate the effectiveness of Internet blogs and forums in organizing a concerted response to a company;
  3. To highlight the extent to which news companies have both a responsibility to their journalists and a responsibility to their viewers;
  4. To encourage a discussion regarding the conduct of news organizations and their editorial guidelines when reporting news.