Net users slam Xinhua for error naming Istanbul as 2020 Games host winner

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 September, 2013, 3:08pm
UPDATED : Monday, 09 September, 2013, 4:24am

A newspaper in Changsha, Hunan, had to recall hundreds of thousands of copies after it printed an erroneous report by Xinhua that Istanbul, not Tokyo, had won the right to host the 2020 Olympics.

Hunan Daily reported the incident on its verified Sina microblog account, which also published a picture showing two copies of newspapers, one with Tokyo and the other naming Istanbul as the winning city on the front pages. A man verified by Sina microblog to be a deputy chief editor of the Changsha Evening News complained that Xinhua should "reflect on the mistake" and consider the losses it had caused to the newspaper nationwide.

The complaint was later deleted from his blog and a call to the newspaper's chief editor's office was not answered.

According to people.com.cn, the website of People's Daily, Xinhua sent a flash at 3.10am saying Istanbul had won the right to host the 2020 Games. A state-owned television station also initially misreported the win.

Xinhua's error was heavily criticised across the country, with internet users demanding that the news service apologise. "If Xinhua could not send someone to cover such a major news event, at least take the effort to verify the facts with the websites of official Olympic organising committees' websites or other news services," said one internet user.