Striding the Rainbow, Embracing Diversity
Fifth China Rainbow Media Awards Ceremony takes place in Beijing.
Qiu Qiming and other celebrities speak out for LGBTI people.
Press Release – China Rainbow Media Awards Committee (www.chinarainbowawards.cn)
Media Liaison: firstname.lastname@example.org
Video News Item: http://www.queercomrades.com/news/china/多元呈现，飞跃彩虹/
On 17 January 2016, the fifth annual China Rainbow Media Awards Ceremony took place in Beijing. Organized by the Beijing Gender Health Education Institute and eleven other Chinese organizations, the China Rainbow Media Awards are the first ever Chinese media awards with a focus on LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and intersex) issues. The China Rainbow Media Awards seek to direct media in a way that is diverse and positively representational of LGBTI issues, aiming to create a more accepting social environment in China.
The China Rainbow Media Awards Ceremony was co-organized together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). At the Ceremony, UNDP Deputy Country Director in China Patrick Haverman pointed out the importance of welfare projects joining forces with the media, and hailed their working together towards the improvement of the social environment for LGBTI people in China.
Celebrities Show Support, Qiu Qiming Receives Special Contribution Award
Famous TV host Qiu Qiming received the Fifth China Rainbow Media Special Contribution Award. In 2011, on his program “24 Hours” (CCTV News Channel), he urged actress Lü Liping to “reconsider her ways” after she and her husband publicly uttered homophobic comments. Calling for an end to discrimination in any form or shape, he encouraged viewers to “please respect every community’s own choices”, and thus made a huge contribution to the achievement of gender and sexual equality. In December 2015, on a Sohu video program talking about gay people suing a local civil affairs bureau to obtain same-sex marriage, Qiu Qiming discussed a range of topics including same-sex marriage, wives of gay men, and contract marriages. He thus triggered passionate debates among Chinese netizens.
The China Rainbow Media Awards Organizing Committee recognizes the fact that Qiu Qiming has paid attention to LGBTI issues for many years. He publicly supports LGBTI communities and tirelessly promotes an accepting society; a society moving away from conservatism and traditionalism; a society embracing diversity. His programs have enabled a better public understanding of LGBTI issues, and have contributed positively to the elimination of stigma and prejudice. In his Special Contribution Award acceptance video, Qiu Qiming states: “Discrimination itself is not that scary, yet when discrimination becomes normalized, it runs counter to justice and fairness. The gay community should be able to enjoy the sunshine, just like everybody else.”
In other videos screened during the Awards Ceremony, many other public figures expressed their support for the China Rainbow Media Awards, and called on everybody in society to support LGBTI and fight discrimination.
Renowned Panel of Judges Selects Five Major Award Winners
More than 100 representatives of media institutions and LGBTI community organizations from around the country gathered in the Banquet Hall of the China World Mall for the Awards Ceremony. Xiaogang Wei, director of the Beijing Gender Health Education Institute, spoke on behalf of the organizers. Patrick Haverman, UNDP Deputy Country Director in China, represented UN institutions at the event. Feng Yuan, co-founder of the Media Monitor for Women network, spoke on behalf of the judges’ panel.
The Fifth China Rainbow Media Awards scoured reports published between November 2014 and December 2015 by hundreds of printed, online and audio-visual media for its Awards selection. While doing so, the Media Awards produced several seasonal and year-end media monitoring reports, and noted more than 250.000 mentions of LGBTI issues in articles dealing with law & politics, culture & entertainment, social life and science.
The Fifth China Rainbow Media Awards boasted a panel of renowned judges, all established experts pertaining to academic, media, civil society and cultural fields. This year’s judges’ panel included Cheng Qingsong, Cui Zi’en, Zhang Zhi’an, Wu Weihua, Steven Jiang, Nan Xianghong, Feng Yuan and Gao Fujun.
The following works were honoured:
* Vista Kan Tianxia: “She Talked with Officials of the Ministry of Education about “Homosexuality” in Textbooks” – Best Magazine/Newspaper Report
* Wangyi Xinwen: “Images of China’s Gay Community” – Best Online Report
* Phoenix Television: “Phoenix Big Vision: In My Name – Authentic Records of the Gay Community” – Best Video Report
* Global Times: “No pride on campus” – Best English Report
* Wangyi Xinwen: “Seven Chinese Gay Couples Go to the United States to Marry” – People’s Choice Award
The winning journalists and editors received their Awards at the Ceremony. In their speeches, they thanked the organizers and showed support and encouragement for the LGBTI community.
45,2% Increase in Sexual Minority Reports – More LGBTI in Cultural, Social Reports
At the Ceremony, the 2015 China Rainbow Media Awards Year-End Media Monitoring Report was announced. The report saw a stiff increase of LGBTI-related articles in China. The report notes more than 250.000 LGBTI-related media mentions (including in re-postings, personal blogs, etc.), an increase of 45,2 % compared to the previous year. Almost 90 % of LGBTI-related reports dealt with cultural and/or social issues.
The media monitoring numbers show that LGBTI culture is continuing to emerge from the shadows. Moreover, they signal that calls for LGBTI equality and acceptance are increasingly being reported on by the mainstream media. This evolution is related to the strong voice emitted by the global LGBTI equality movement in 2015, yet also engenders a hope that social awareness in China is steadily progressing. Many mainstream media outlets reported on important lawsuits related to LGBTI rights in 2015, which triggered many public debates, and which contributed to a strengthening of legal knowledge among the general public.
The Fifth China Rainbow Media Awards signal that sexual minorities are finding proper ways to cooperate with the media. Sexual and gender minorities are changing from passive individuals waiting to be reported on, to active entities seeking out the media to let their voices be heard. They are positively searching to create a relationship with the media which is based on equality, and are looking to change LGBTI clichés still adopted by a part of the media. Through a balanced selection process, in-depth workshops and a grand ceremony, the China Rainbow Media Awards are constantly striving to increase communication between LGBTI and the media, and increase mutual understanding.
The China Rainbow Media Awards continuously promote the efforts of sexual minorities to increase appropriate visibility in the media, and record the efforts of the media to report on sexual minorities in more objective, just and professional ways. It is a process of high significance, both for the LGBTI community and the media in China.
Attachment: 2015 Media Monitoring Report (Chinese)