Press Esc to close
Saturday 29 November 2014
News updated at 1:58 PM IST
Weather
Max: 0°C
Min : 0°C
In Bengaluru
Sunny day

China's CCTV treats April Fool's joke as real news

Beijing, Apr 3, 2013 (AP)

When Virgin founder Richard Branson made an April Fool's Day announcement about starting a glass-bottomed plane service, at least one major news outlet didn't see through to the joke. China's huge state broadcaster, CCTV, ran it as odd but real news.

The broadcaster reported it a day later on the nightly news program "World Express," where Chinese Internet users quickly spotted the gaffe and spread the word.

CCTV had pulled the clip from its website today.


When "World Express" producer Xu Qi was reached on her cellphone by The Associated Press, she asked for a callback later because she was in a meeting, but later repeated calls rang unanswered.

CCTV had reported that Branson's Virgin Atlantic airline would start flying the first-ever glass-bottomed planes between London and Scotland. It quoted as the source the British newspaper The Daily Mirror, which had made it clear it was in on the joke by reminding online readers that it was April Fool's Day.

CCTV also aired photos originally posted in Branson's blog on Virgin's official site Monday and carried by the British tabloid.

Quoting The Daily Mirror, a CCTV news announcer said that passengers need not worry about safety because the see-through bottom would be aviation-grade glass.

"Maybe to spice up its programming for ratings, CCTV sometimes fails to check the source of the information," Beijing journalism professor Zhan Jiang said.

It is not the first time China's state media have fallen for spoof news articles.

When the US satirical website The Onion, proclaimed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un the sexiest man alive in November, it ended up as real news on websites of several Chinese newspapers, including the Communist Party's flagship People's Daily.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Black Friday Shopping Begins On Thanksgiving Evening

Black Friday Shopping Begins On Thanksgiving Evening

Dancers perform during an inauguration ceremony of a Hello Kitty amusement park in Anji

Dancers perform during an inauguration ceremony of a Hello Kitty amusement park in Anji

Regina Vandysheva reacts after winning the 2014 Miss Kazakhstan national beauty

Regina Vandysheva reacts after winning the 2014 Miss Kazakhstan national beauty

Pakistani theatre artists in India  to participate in 'Saanjh: 11th Amritsar-Lahore Peace Festival

Pakistani theatre artists in India to participate in 'Saanjh: 11th Amritsar-Lahore Peace Festival

Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi being felicitated by Chairman of Bajaj Auto Rahul Bajaj

Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi being felicitated by Chairman of Bajaj Auto Rahul Bajaj

Rahul Gandhi meeting supporters at his election rally in Jamshedpur

Rahul Gandhi meeting supporters at his election rally in Jamshedpur

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his departure after attending SAARC summit...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his departure after attending SAARC summit...

A boy salvages for belongings amid the debris of his house in Mumbai...

A boy salvages for belongings amid the debris of his house in Mumbai...

Shyam Benegal with Naseeruddin Shah during the launch of the latter's book...

Shyam Benegal with Naseeruddin Shah during the launch of the latter's book...

Actor turned politician Kushboo with Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi...

Actor turned politician Kushboo with Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523