News Magazine: “People’s Republic of Cheating” and “Misjudged Cases”
Television Broadcasts Limited, Hong Kong
Both of these reports by TVB Jade Channel‘s News Magazine expose deep, reform-resistant problems in China‘s culture. “People‘s Republic of Cheating” focuses on rampant academic fraud and how it undermines the country‘s credibility and wastes public funds. One segment deals with Shanghai Jiao Tong University‘s claim to developing China‘s first digital signal process, which led to 100 million Yuan in government funding. The esteemed professor in charge had actually purchased Motorola microchips and had the logos sanded off. News Magazine found the worker who did the sanding. Another segment addressed the prevalence of dissertation fraud and plagiarism, including one thesis that appeared in 16 different journals under 25 different bylines. Far more disturbing, however, is Misjudged Cases, a sobering look at inadequacies in China‘s Criminal Procedure Law, which covers trials and the appeals process. Justice can be arbitrary and recklessly swift, appeals so slow they become moot. One segment features an elderly couple whose son was charged with rape and murder, tried, convicted and executed 17 years ago. They‘re still trying to get him posthumously exonerated of a crime to which another man confessed four years ago. Another segment deals with a man convicted, largely on the basis of a coerced confession, of murdering his wife. He had been in prison 11 years when she turned up alive. For documenting systemic dysfunction in China‘s academic and legal worlds, a Peabody Award goes to News Magazine‘s “People‘s Republic of Cheating” and “Misjudged Cases”.
PRIMARY PRODUCTION CREDITS
Executive Producer: Cheung Hak-Chiu. Producers: Yung Chun-Fai (People’s Republic of Cheating), Hui Siu-Fun (Misjudged Cases). Director: Sit Wai. Camera: Tam Kwok-Hing (People’s Republic of Cheating), Liu Chuen-Sum (People’s Republic of Cheating), Leung Yiu-Kwok (Misjudged Cases). Newstape Editor: Cheung Leung-Wah. Host: Ng King-Tsun