Reuters apologizes for ‘offensive’ tweet — Analysis

Reuters apologizes for the poor photo selection to illustrate a story on a monkey brain research that was deemed racist and offensive in China.

Reuters published a Thursday story titled “Monkey-brain study with link to China’s military roils top European university.” The report was about a Chinese professor studying how a monkey’s brain functions at extreme altitude.

The study was done with the help of Beijing’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) with the aim of developing new drugs to prevent brain damage, Reuters said.

With a picture of smiling Chinese soldiers in an Oxygen Chamber, the news agency promoted this story via Twitter.

China was furious at the tweet and many people criticized it on social media. Reuters responded to Friday’s outrage by deleting the original Tweet. The photo of Chinese soldiers wasn’t related to the story. “could have been read as offensive.”

“As soon as we became aware of our mistake, the tweet was deleted and corrected, and we apologize for the offense it caused,” Reuters said in a statement to the Global Times, China’s state-run newspaper.

The problem was not unique to the Western-based news agency. In July, the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka criticized Reuters for using a photo of Chinese weightlifterAnd Tokyo 2020 Olympics gold medalist Hou Zhihui that the country’s state media described as “ugly” and “disrespectful to the athlete.”

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