US:"If there is even one step we can take to save another child…then surely we have an obligation to try."
Shortly after the incident, the local law enforcement officials released information about the gunmen, weapons, casualties, etc. President Barack Obama's speech on the school shooting expressed deep sorrow and promised to help at Newtown vigil. President Obama also announced that the US flag at national government agencies will be lowered to half-mast from December 14 to 18. [more]
China: "It makes no sense to discuss this. It's better to have lunch first."
There is a huge difference in the reactions of officials in the two countries. What did they do and say?
The local government in Guangshan informed the media that the press conference to be held the next day was canceled and started to censor the news relating to the incident Saturday.
When reporters approached the village committee about the news the following day of the attack, an official surnamed Zhou replied on the phone saying he was not at the office "for some private matter. Not at office, don't know anything."
A woman who claimed to be a "working staff" but was later identified to be an office deputy director on duty at the County Bureau of Education told reporters that "the leaders had all gone to the countryside on inspections". She left the office on an excuse and never returned, leaving reporters waiting in the office.
When reporters called a person in charge of the county's propaganda department to verify if Min, the arrested man, was mentally ill, the official replied that it would take time to identify the illness, and told reporters, "It makes no sense to discuss this. It's better to have lunch first."
There are reports that the local government even made a mistake with the name of the man who was arrested on site.
Though six officials have been sacked four days after the attack, there are reports saying that they are merely "little shrimps", the main persons in charge of the educational authorities and the county government are still holding their posts. [more]
US: A sudden tragedy brings out the best in the media.
You could find everything about the massacre in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown timely reported by the US media. "A sudden tragedy brings out the best in the media: journalists racing to the scene, ferreting out the details, leading the nation through its grief." said an article by CNN's Howard Kurtz.
The Associated Press, CNN and other mainstream American media quickly reported the shooting incident in Newtown which hit the headlines around the world including China in no time.
The details about the whole incident, suspect's background, list of victims, and information and feedback of ordinary people as well as senior level officials were made public as soon as possible.
"Story deserves intense reportage, but did media go too far with branding?" Kurtz also asked.
Well, this question is obviously shocking for the Chinese media. Because their American peers not only do their job well, but also adopt rational approach to reflect on the role of the media itself. [more]
China: We still don't know the names of the children attacked.
The attack in Guangshuan, by 36-year-old Min yingjun, wounded 23 children and an adult. Yet the attack received very little coverage from domestic news outlets, who preferred to focus on the American tragedy.
The news was first posted by Guangshan web, an official website of the county, around noon on the day of the incident and then removed that same evening.
"All afternoon (December 15), CCTV has been doing large-scale reporting and analysis of the US school shooting incident: counting the number of shooting incidents, digging deep into the root causes of the shootings, offering suggestions, estimating the amount of firearm ownership, speculating on potential risks, condemning US President Obama… Since you are so professional, so responsible, and so diligent, how can you not report about the Chinese school knife attack that injured 22 children?" queried Zuoyeben, literally meaning exercise book, a blogger who has over 4 million fans on Weibo.
In addition, state-run China Central Television led the December 14 broadcast with news of the Newtown massacre, despite CCTV's tradition of reporting domestic news before international news.
In general, there wasn't much reporting or any good pictures about the Guangshan school attack in the domestic media for two days after it happened. Whatever was the reason behind the scanty coverage and late reporting, the fact remains that providing objective and timely coverage of all kinds of social events is the social responsibility of all media. [more]
US: Newtown could be "tipping point" for gun control ?
Flanked by dozens of shooting survivors and relatives of victims of gunfire around the country, Mayor Michael Bloomberg pressed Congress and President Obama on Monday to toughen gun laws and tighten enforcement after the Connecticut school massacre that left 20 children among the dead. "If this doesn't do it," he asked, "what is going to?"
Sen. Chuck Schume, a gun control advocate, proposes a reinstatement of the assault weapons ban, a limit to the size of clips available for purchase and restrictions placed on the mentally unstable from obtaining guns, which "would not interfere with the Second Amendment but would offer protections".
But public who oppose the Gun control double whether the "gun control" could get to the root cause of the problem and they said: "Guns don't kill people do".
"It merely takes guns out of the hands of good people. Not bad people. And because it is just a way for the government to more easily repress its citizens."
"I think it's time we started looking beneath the surface, rather than believing we can solve problems by taking away an amendment."
President Obama may now be pushed do something on gun control measures after keeping relatively quiet about the issue during his first term. We see the White House promised a comprehensive series of measures, including gun control legislation, on Monday to prevent a recurrence of mass shootings. [more]
China: It doesn't matter if it's guns or knives.
It's probably one of the few occasions when some Americans might prefer China's more heavy-handed rules, where private gun ownership is rare, and even sales of certain knives require permits.
In China, private gun ownership is illegal. But people who want to hurt others can always find other potential weapons available to use - knives, hammers, axes, etc.
Min broke into an elderly woman house robbed a kitchen knife and stabbed her. Though he didn't manage to kill anyone, he left one child with a fractured skull, and cut off fingers and ears of several others, according to state news media Xinhua.
Talking about guns, though many people in China envy Americans' right to carry arms, there are still many who believe that more violence would take place if guns are allowed in China.
"If China allowed private ownership of firearms, the Chinese underworld organizations would outnumber the regular army," said a netizen called March Forward 123 on a military forum.
"And the corrupt officials would definitely covertly organize vigilante groups to defend their own lives."
"But to be honest, the Americans are still quite rational and there is actually less violence in the US than in China." [more]
Rhythm Media Group is a multi-media company, operating a US-based Chinese daily newspaper, The China Press, and the paper’s website - uschinapress.com (which has mobile-app version), as well as a Beijing-based English website Sino-US.com. The group boasts 15 branch offices across the US, and a number of cultural centers focusing on culture-related business in the North America, Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan.Launched in September 2012, the Sino-US.com is designed to serve as a bridge between China and the US, and to keep its readership inside or outside China better informed by providing news and insights on China’s current affairs, culture, life, business, people and sports.