Another story of news being completely staged has surfaced in Guangzhou, and is going viral on Sina Weibo.
A female street cleaner fainted on Huancun road on Wednesday due to the sweltering heat. Many passersby ignored the unconscious woman until a small girl, walking by with her mother, insisting on stopping and shielding the woman from the sun with their umbrella until help could arrive.
A man surnamed Fok told reporters that once he heard the little girl shout “Mum, quick, help her!”, he was shamed into doing so himself. He and several of his collegues carried the woman into some shade with another passerby telephoned for an ambulance.
It’s a touching story that drew attention partially because nearby Shenzhen had just introduced a Good Samaritan Law. The law aims to encourage people to help those in need, and this case warmed the cockles of the hearts of those who believe in helping the vulnerable.
The only problem? The whole thing was faked by the reporter from Guangzhou Daily.
A reporter from Xin Kuai Bao decided to investigate the story and spoke with the street cleaner, surnamed Tang. Tang said the picture published in the paper was taken at 12 noon on Tuesday (July 30). Tang said she was told to lie down three times so the reporter could test different camera angles. After after about an hour and half, the reporter took the picture that was published in the paper.
“They told me it was for an umbrella commercial. How would I know… that it was for a newspaper? If I knew, I would never do it no matter how much they pay me!” Tang said.
The street cleaner was recruited for the role a day earlier. “I was cleaning the street on Zhucun Hulin Road around 3pm on July 29th when four adults came along; one of them was a skinny man wearing glasses. He came up to me and asked if I could help them shoot a commercial. He told me that they think street cleaners have tough jobs and lives. They’d like to do a non-commercial advertisement for an umbrella brand, and they’d pay me RMB 100 for it. I agreed without thinking too much about it.”
Tang said she was paid RMB150 at the end for her “hard work.” Xin Kuai Bao also reported that the young girl was also paid RMB150, and that her “mother” was one of the four people who originally approached Tang a day earlier.