Coverage of Dalai Lama Visit

June 3, 2008

So, the Dalai Lama has been and gone. Hardly noticed by the UK although not suprising as his office seemed to have turned down interviews left, right and centre. Even Trevor Macdonald was refused an audience apparently – so it can be of little suprise that his visit passed with so little coverage. Could this be a planned strategy? I don’t think so. Knowing the veneration of their leader and the reluctance of some, naming no names, to embrace the western circus, I suspect that hassle was kept to a minimum and therefore pesky journalists were kept well away. But I can’t help but feel this is unhelpful to their cause. I know he is 72, about to be 73, but the next few weeks represent the greatest and possibly last opportunity to put China on the back foot, and turning down journalists probably means giving their editors the hump, and the story being relegated to the last page. I am not the first and won’t be the last to think that their media strategy needs a bit of foresight and pre-planning to ensure that they have the best chance of achieving their aims. If there was one aim it should be to put the Dalai Lama above politics and give him the best possible platform to articulate his views on the earthquake and his feelings for the Chinese people. I think this was a missed opportunity.


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