Western politicians and netizens criticize media's 'double standards' on Hong Kong and Catalonia
By You Yang, Zhang Congying

The protests in Catalonia and Hong Kong have both common threads and differences. Some Catalan activist groups have said they were examining the techniques of Hong Kong protesters — cutting off major roads and gathering at the airport. However, some voices are pointing out that western media attitudes toward the violence in Hong Kong and Catalonia are totally different. 

It has been nearly a week since huge pro-independence demonstrations started in the Spanish region, leaving at least 500 people injured and over 100 protesters arrested. 

But it's quite difficult to even find the word "Catalonia," on the website of UK public service broadcaster, the BBC. By contrast, if you look at coverage on Hong Kong, it seems the BBC regularly devotes many pages to tracking its every twist and turn.

BBC's Television Centre, London. /Xinhua Photo

BBC's Television Centre, London. /Xinhua Photo

This hasn't escaped the notice of Scottish National Party MP Gavin Newland. 

He tweeted that "...this is happening all over Catalonia tonight...with protesters losing eyes...yet nothing on the BBC news app." 

And in another post, he added "still nothing on events in Catalonia....but a piece on Hong Kong."

Some British netizens have referred to what they call a "daily update on Hong Kong as that suits anti-China situation." 

Meanwhile, in Germany, a leading business newspaper talked about "Feeling the Pain in Spain," referring to events in Catalonia. But when dealing with Hong Kong's demonstrations, the daily hasn't shown the same kind of mercy. 

The Hong Kong newspaper Sing Tao Daily observed that the UK and Spanish governments have been taking harsh measures to deal with violent protests in their own countries, while criticizing the behavior of the Hong Kong police. 

The comments show that serious questions are being raised about how neutral the media are and whether they've been simply tuning out the news they don't want to talk about.