Do state run news papers offer good OS Intel?

Discussion in 'East Asia & The Pacific' started by Falcon, Aug 14, 2016.

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  1. Falcon

    Falcon Lieutenant Colonel Staff Member Social Media Team

    Oct 10, 2015
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    I commonly see articles that deal with Chinese issues citing state run news papers and using statements made by their authors as if they are official. The articles generally flow as so:

    "China’s state-run Global Times has published an editorial attacking Australia for supporting the recent international ruling on China’s activities in the South China Sea and called for strikes on any Australian ships which might undertake “freedom-of-navigation” activities in the region."

    I am not sure if these types of comments made in State Run news papers are good open source intelligence or just plain opinions that are not to be taken seriously. And what about media outlets like RT or the BBC? How should we handle information coming out of there?
  2. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

    Oct 8, 2015
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    Professional "Doer" of "Things"
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    State run media publications tend to be groomed to avoid certain information, focus on certain information and sway opinions towards a preferred side and away from another. Because they are groomed, they aren't generally considered good sources of intelligence.

    However, such media publications can also be an indicator of what the higher ups are thinking, and what they want to, but wont say. A tongue in cheek reminder to another nation who's more powerful, OP-Eds saying what politicians are thinking without quoting them, updates on "leaked" activities to sway a discussion one way or another.

    Instead of looking at state run publications, check what the man on the internet is saying. Often, as is the case in China, amateur sleuths will "out" a problem, project or instillation and force the government to either acknowledge it or bury any trace of the discussion off of social media platforms, internet forums or other non-official media. Careful though, these are also groomed by non-amatuers.

    In general state run = bad as a source of intel but = good as an insight into the mood of policy makers.