In a strong commentary published on 13 August, China's state news agency Xinhua accused CNN's reporter Will Ripley who was reporting outside a hospital, of inaccurate and partial reporting.

It said on Thursday morning, CNN had broadcast a video recorded by Ripley showed him being blocked from reporting live outside a hospital following the warehouse blasts in the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin.

The reporter later commented from the studio that it was not the first time that CNN correspondents in China suffered from hindrance on the job, blaming "security and officials." He also said that "this is something that happened many times over the years in a number of stories in China," the news agency said in its commentary.


Xinhua said that although CNN later published a correction via its twitter account, saying that its correspondent was interrupted in a live report by "upset friends and relatives of victims killed and injured in the China blasts," the news agency said it was not enough.

It acknowledged that Ripley did agree to stop recording after several men asked him, saying: "From the perspective of news ethics, reporters should respect the injured and families of victims when they cover a deadly incident ...

"However, how could the anchor easily conclude that it was Chinese 'security and officials' who stopped Ripley from reporting? How could he easily misinterpret the blocking of reporting as a usual case in China? The reason is inseparable from CNN's deep-rooted prejudice against China," Xinhua said.

It went further to say that this was not the first "prejudiced" report on China, citing "an array of records of inaccurately" reporting from the March 14 2008 Tibet riots to the Kunming terror attacks in March 2014.

It criticised CNN for failing "to see that the Chinese government has improved a lot in communicating with the media when dealing with emergencies."

The Hong Kong Free Press took up Ripley's report and said that CNN and local Chinese media were struggling to report on the Tianjin explosion. It noted that Ripley was confronted by several men, demanding him to end the live broadcast outside a hospital.

It said according to Tencent news, local journalists were also blocked from reporting the blast, noting that a post on Weibo, a microblogging site, said that Tianjin Television reporters had to wait for permission before they could start reporting on the blast.