Press Esc to close
Thursday 29 January 2015
News updated at 7:41 PM IST
Weather
Max: 28°C
Min : 17°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
A groom leads his horse in the equine pool after working out on the track, during early morning...

A groom leads his horse in the equine pool after working out on the track, during early morning...

A handler bathes a horse after a training session ahead of the Indian Derby in Mumbai...

A handler bathes a horse after a training session ahead of the Indian Derby in Mumbai...

Ladakhi women offering prayers during the inauguration of traditional Buddhist prayer...

Ladakhi women offering prayers during the inauguration of traditional Buddhist prayer...

A Police man takes pictures as the Raisina Hill which houses India's most important ministries...

A Police man takes pictures as the Raisina Hill which houses India's most important ministries...

A man walks on a snow covered path after in Srinagar on Thursday. Temperatures drop due...

A man walks on a snow covered path after in Srinagar on Thursday. Temperatures drop due...

A scene after light snow fall at Dal Lake in Srinagar on Thursday...

A scene after light snow fall at Dal Lake in Srinagar on Thursday...

Migratory seagulls are seen above the river Ganga during Magh Mela in Allahabad...

Migratory seagulls are seen above the river Ganga during Magh Mela in Allahabad...

President Pranab Mukherjee leaving for Beating Retreat ceremony from forecourt...

President Pranab Mukherjee leaving for Beating Retreat ceremony from forecourt...

School children perform during presentation of National Bal Shree Honour 2011 & 2012...

School children perform during presentation of National Bal Shree Honour 2011 & 2012...

Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor during inauguration of International Bicycle & Fitness Expo...

Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor during inauguration of International Bicycle & Fitness Expo...

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