IPVM Is Subjective Journalism At Best, Because You Choose The Politically Spicy Stories But Ignore The Local Stories That Will Get More Backlash

It's subjective journalism at best, because you choose the politically spicy stories but ignore the local stories that will get more backlash.

It's a choice you are free to make, but you are not an independent journalism platform. Saying your overarching goal is to have an impact doesn't line up with the subject matter you choose.

NOTICE: This comment was moved from an existing discussion: Hikvision USA 10th Anniversay Sale Up To 50% Off!

Jonathan, I made this its own topic so people can see and discuss this.

Please enumerate the local stories that we are ignoring.

Thanks for making this a topic John. I do feel this has been discussed at lenght already.

I am not the only one pointing at situations on US soil like the boarder situating of prisoning children and keeping them from their parents for months.

As I understand from you and Charles, because there are many contracters and manufactures involved, you deem it not interesting enough.

Because the Chinese case has 1 name on the contract (HIK), you deem this worthy of a lenghty article. I don't think Hik now has builders in their employee base, they probably outsourced it.

I have pointed out that I don't agree with this assessment. Either both deserve attention or neither. Since you choose only one I made the above statement.

I have also pointed out I am not trying to compare the two, nor will I participate in a peeing contest to see which infringement on human rights is worse.

which infringement on human rights is worse.

This is hypothetical but would you feel like this if the site I meant had 3000 axis camera’s installed by a reputable firm, that got a good quote from Adi?

These jobs are not built with items laying around. People get quotes, maybe a tender for more companies to register.

It’s a not some small project it’s huge and companies made profits and are making profits.

Which companies? How much profit? What were the tender details?

Is this info available? Otherwise, it’s just going to be a fluff piece.


I think you are missing Jonathan's point. He suggested a hypothetical situation, but the questions remain - "Does it really matter? And, are the situations comparable?"

Whether it was Axis or Samsung or Bosch or Avigilon or Pelco or Hikua or .... that benefited from a purchase made from a systems integrator on this project, does it matter? Can this be compared to the situation exposed in the original thread (different thread) that these companies are benefiting from this travesty on American soil the same way Hikua are benefiting from the travesty the Uyghurs are facing in concentration camps by the Chinese government awarding the contracts to Hikua directly?

Personally, I think the situation in the US with contracts being awarded to systems integrators who either choose to purchase a given brand or buy one that is predetermined by a consultant is far different than the situation in China. In China, the government is awarding the contracts directly to Hikua and they are acting as the GC's. Additionally, they are custom developing products specific to the camps for facial recognition to find any suspects to alert the police so they can be separated from their families and brainwashed in these concentration camps.

Anyone here is welcome to agree or disagree, but these are the FACTS at hand.

Facts are provided on one story, while the other has no facts available. That’s my point.

You don’t know what solutions are being used and have been custom developed because there is no info, and no one looking at it.

Additionally, they are custom developing products specific to the camps for facial recognition to find any suspects to alert the police so they can be separated from their families and brainwashed in these concentration camps.

Please provide PROOF of that your statement is FACT, not hearsay, guesswork or otherwise....

This has already been covered. Repeatedly. Here's one example on Dahua,


And, here's another one for Hikvision.


If you don't want to read the entire article (which would be a shame), here is a very poignant excerpt:

"Hikvision is also 42 percent owned by Chinese government entities controlled by the China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), a state defense contractor deeply involved in Xinjiang. Bloomberg reported that CETC is developing a facial-recognition system in the province that automatically notifies authorities when certain people leave designated areas ... Additionally, the Associated Press identified the CETC as the maker of a facial scanner set up at the entry of a bazaar in Hotan town and found a total of 27 CETC bids for government contracts in Xinjiang."

And, another for Hikvision.


And, another for Hikvision.


Seriously, the list goes on. Just Google Hikvision (or Dahua) and Uyghurs. This is modern day genecide and both companies (especially Hikvision) is profiting from the fact that the Government is awarding the CETC; i.e. Hikvision these contracts

Thanks, I was trying to figure out what the heck the point of all this was, I missed the back story and the previous discussion and UM#2 your post was perhaps the clearest explanation in this thread for me.

While the political issues with US immigration policy are a very interesting and frankly very concerning, I do not go to IPVM to read about that topic. I come to read about our industry, and like it or not Hikvision is a major player so it gets a lot of coverage. Unfortunately their ownership brings a lot of negative baggage and while some or many may not care about it, some folks do. And that I think is the major differentiator. If someone can't or won't recognize the fact that the ownership is an issue that will garner attention and discussion then they will be doomed to think that coverage is stilted just by the fact that it exist, regardless of the content. I'm not aware of a European or N or S American equivalent manufacturer that would be comparable.

I think there are plenty of other regional "spicy" stories such the Nortek bribe scandal, ADT CEO departure, mystery patent trolls, ect. But I'm generally not here for the "spicy" stories. I honestly usually skip or skim many of the Hikvision articles, I personally prefer the shootouts, the feature comparisons, classes, camera tools, and the community more, but the news articles have a place and keep me informed.

I’m glad we agree the US sites are full of security equipment and profits have been made.

It might be less easy to get all the facts but that’s what a journalist would investigate and report on. America is the land of the free right? It should be far from impossible to find out. It’s almost funny it’s easier to find info on China vs info on US matters.

While Charles writes good pieces both for IPVM and his other outlets, they are almost all about China. It makes him knowledgeable.

That being said, Charles also writes for the WSJ (which makes IPVM usage of them sensical)

WSJ has many reporters on many subjects.

IPVM chooses to not look for anyone on local items, or investigate themselves.

That a choice John and the team are free to make, but it also makes it subjective journalism.

I’m glad we agree the US sites are full of security equipment and profits have been made.

Except that we don't agree.

I think the odds are that those sites are full of security equipment that someone has sold for a profit. But there is no data at hand currently to support that. You will (or should) notice that IPVM predominately ties articles back to things that readers can independently verify, generally documents that have been made public in some way, or documents provided to IPVM that they can post summaries of (and in most cases also host and provide links to for readers to download.

As far as the US sites are concerned, I have not anything that outlines equipment used, vendors engaged, and so forth. I have not even heard rumors or allegation about companies involved. And I certainly have not seen any links to any kind of data that could be used to verify that info.

On one side, you have oppressive government programs with clear and direct links to Hikvision. On the other side, you have oppressive government programs, but no definitive data on what security industry companies are involved, and not even a hint (that I have seen) that the companies involved might make for an intriguing IPVM report. Ex, it could be a bunch of Basler cameras and a VMS that came from some US DOD skunkworks project. That, IMO, would not be a very "interesting" story for the IPVM audience, as it would not involve products that IPVM members tend to work with. Instead, it would mostly just confirm suspicions that some surveillance equipment exists at these sites.

IPVM chooses to not look for anyone on local items

I think you have taken some personal bias or opinion and tried to back in to supporting evidence via the non-existance of certain coverage by IPVM.

I’m not sure you get my point.

I know there is ‘easy info’ to find on the matter discussed in China.

I find it almost funny that in a land that calls itself land of the free, getting info on something in the US is so impossible.

Not trying to get the info is fine, my point is a real journalist would try.

All is said is IPVM is subjective journalism. If they reported saying this is the used equipment but those brands don’t interest anyone here so we won’t go further, that would be journalism. Because they can’t google it they don’t report. That’s not objective journalism.

I’m not sure you get my point.

I'm not sure you have one. A strong opinion, yes. A well formed point, no.

I find it almost funny that in a land that calls itself land of the free, getting info on something in the US is so impossible.

So your theory is that information related to US national security matters should be easily found online, with details about vendors and products involved, because the US has a motto "Land of the free"? You do not understand what that motto is intended (and not intended) to apply to or mean. Do you also assume goods and services are free in the "Land of the free"?

Not trying to get the info is fine, my point is a real journalist would try.

Do you know if IPVM has put any effort into trying to find that information? Please, share with us your data on how hard IPVM has tried to investigate this topic, or how/when the company decision was made to explicitly ignore it.

If they reported saying this is the used equipment but those brands don’t interest anyone here so we won’t go further, that would be journalism.

But then what about government issues in Brazil, and equipment used? Or India? Or the UK? Because IPVM covers stories about China, that have strong relevance to the industry, they should investigate all similar issues in any country and report back that they use uninteresting equipment and make those posts on IPVM? Sounds like a waste of time and extremely boring and useless content, certainly not what I want my membership dollars to go to.

Dear Undisclosed

Let me refrase my point so it is more clear:
IPVM is subjective journalism because they choose what to cover and what not.

From your perspective, they cater exactly what you are looking for.

I am not debating which countries and which items to cover. I am simply poiting out they are selective, and therefore subjective.

IPVM proudly states they serve subscribers worldwide. To readers worldwide more items are of interest.

From what you write, it's not interesting to you. That's ok, we don't have to agree.

"IPVM is subjective journalism because they choose what to cover and what not."

By that definition every single news organization in the world is subjective. Which they are, but I sense you don't think that.

I will have to agree with you Ross, it's almost impossible to be 100% objective. Some are less subjetive than others, but that too is subjective :)

This seems to be a lot like "Hey everyone never-mind the smoke here, there is smoke over there I'm sure of it, just go away and look for it as this smoke isn't that interesting or important".

While I appreciate many things on the IPVM site, I do not think of IPVM as a Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein level investigative reporters out chasing down various conspiracies. What they do, with the industry related stories, shootouts, ect is valuable to me, hence my subscription.

I think by definition, all privately owned news organizations choose what they want to cover and how extensively. A lot of that is determined by how big the players involved in the story are, and HIKVision is a big player in our industry.

We all have the ability to start a "discussion" if we feel something needs to have attention brought to it. You sir are more than welcome to highlight the a story you feel needs to be told.

I feel no matter which way IPVM leans or covers the news somebody is going to feel slighted. SO..for a few more years we are free to choose where we read the news so take advantage and go else where if you are not happy.

Jonathan, thanks for the response. From your numerous comments here, the only 'local stories' you cite is the US border / migrant children one. If you have others, feel free to share but I'll focus on that. One note, we had already discussed this point here.

Let me first clarify a factually wrong point you make:

Because the Chinese case has 1 name on the contract (HIK)

It is not simply a 'name', Dahua and Hikvision have negotiated, won and manage these contracts directly with the Chinese government. For example, here is Dahua at the signing ceremony:

As for the migrant child situation, there are a number of problems with this being a story:

  • The US has not built facilities specifically for migrant children, unlike in Xinjiang where the Chinese government has spent tens of billions for years specifically to 'fight terrorism' / supress their own minority citizens. So even if we tried to 'blame' who put the security system is, whoever it was would fairly retort that had no engagement of a later use for detaining children.
  • The amount of money spent on video surveillance of these US facilities is very small as there has only been a few thousand children that went through with almost all out. What makes the Hikua / Xinjiang situation so significant is that they won over a billion dollars of contracts.
  • You dismiss the direct Xinjiang contracts as just a 'name' but even if the US facilities where the children are being detained are using Axis or Hikvision cameras, both companies will fairly object that they had no involvement nor knowledge of the deals, as both sell through distribution in North America.

If you have other 'local stories that will get more backlash', we are happy to consider.

Finally, a general comment about journalism, we get story ideas and tips every day, and 90% of even the potential Dahua and Hikvision stories we consider are not run because we do not deem them to be significant enough to be newsworthy.

There's no perfect way to decide on what gets run or does not but I hope you appreciate that IPVM is willing to publicly and transparently discuss why and what we do as well as provide a forum for critics to challenge our reporting.

I know it has been discussed at length. I appreciate your choice to make it a subject but to be honest most of the replies and standpoints were known before we started. It's all been said before and on some items we don't agree. That's ok. Life would be boring if we always agreed.

Maybe it's just me, but I cannot understand the purpose of this topic, other than to express a political opinion. People seem to use this site for information pertaining to security-related products and topics. How and where those products are used is the business of the end-user/owner.

Are you suggesting that integrators and/or video manufacturers be liable if a customer/business/government uses their products/services in an immoral way? Sounds like blaming the gun manufacturer for the shooting or the car manufacturer for the auto accident.

This is not a political opinion.
IPVM takes great prides in it's coverage of certain items, and I have askes a few times why their choice of items is selective. It may strike some nerves and come across political but to me it's not. I'm am merely stating that their coverage is subjective.


  1. 1.
    based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.
    Manufacturers datasheets - subjective
    IPVM product reviews/comparisons - objective
    Video devices cyber-insecure - objective
    Doesn't matter - subjective
    Government sponsored video devices made specifically and contracted for the elimination of a minority - objective
    Doesn't apply to me except maybe at our border where that doesn't happen - subjective
    Our AI is the best - subjective
    Your AI was tested and doesn't work reliably to these percentages - objective
    Topics related to our industry presented to subscribers - objective
    Discussions, posts and opinions - subjective (some/most of the time)?
    This thread is silly. Distinguish between the two.

So your point is?

I don’t understand the difference between objective and subjective?

Or that part of IPVM’s articles are objective and some parts are subjective?

Your point is IPVM is subjective journalism.

My point is IPVM places articles on a board and provides objective reports.

I just scanned page one articles (25 of them) and not one article title is subjective and the content is factual.

The articles may elicit subjective comments but, by far and most, IPVM puts forth articles based on facts.

And I work in an environment that has not always been blessed by IPVM reporting!

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I understand Jonathan’s point. More focus on products and less politics.

I can’t imagine IPVM writing an article about the US Govt using a US brand of cameras with facial analytics to separate families at the border with a 95% known failure rate, making houses of worship install Government monitored cameras and no ability to argue the results.

Especially if the US Govt owned 42% of that company and awarded it as a sole source agreement.

That would certainly not be news. Or would it?

You start saying you get my point, but everything you write after that proves the opposite. Feel free to scroll up and read some of the comments, not just mine.

You add fictitious facts at will but fail to see the point (known 95% failure rate?).

No one is looking at the US sites so you don’t know how bad it is or what is is. Makes it easier to ignore and point to others. All I said is that this choice makes IPVM subjective.

Jonathan, you are whining; to complain in a feeble or petulant way.

All media outlets, every single one of them, need to generate money to stay in business. All will be selective in what they report because they need to retain readers and readers want relevant, educational, and interesting stories to read. Detaining criminals at the USA border isn't any of those things.

You are obviously personally affected by the Hikvision coverage, either emotionally and/or financially and you are responding with unconstructive behavior.

Since you are such a strong supporter of Hik, your time is better spent writing to them and asking to stop supplying and profiting from tools to enact systematic human rights violations and to stop adding backdoors to their products and then lying about it or claiming 30,000 engineers all missed it. That way IPVM would have nothing more to report on and you can be happier and wealthier.

All I said is that I find it subjective. It was John's choice to make it a topic.
No need to call me things.

Don't worry. I am not affected by Hik coverage on IPVM. It has no influence on my personal happiness.

To be perfectly honest it has no influence on our business either. I am not in the USA and while you may not see it that way, on this side of the pond many of the views the current administration ventilates come across far from logical to the average European. On this side of the pond the Hik/Dahua ban is seen as part of a trade war, one that makes little to no sense in the way it's conducted. So while you may think bad IPVM coverage and USA bans influence our business, no one here cares what trade laws are implemented.

Jonathan I think you will find that only a stone throw away from where you conduct your business current developments in the US are affecting the industry. It's all about being real and educating your customers. You must have some involvement with Hikvision or else you would not blame the backlash in the US on the trade war or agree with those who make that point.

I know Hik distributors who are seriously worried and who are making plans to secure their futures by becoming less dependent on Hik and or Dahua sales.

The Hik backdoor was discovered well before Trump decided to play trade games with the Chinese as were the various hacking episodes involving Hikua. Blaming the Hikua ban on the trade war is simply finding an excuse to keep going imo.

The violation of human rights in China is systematic, on a much larger scale, and has been ongoing for centuries compared what we are seeing in the US at the moment. What's happening under Trump in the US is also heart breaking, especially when kids are involved, but in no way could or should it be compared with what the Chinese government is doing in their Northern province.

Objective journalism is hard to come by these days and I think we all understand why this is the case. No newspaper in your country is objective as they are either right wing or left wing so their reporting would be 'censored' to a certain extend.

I took out a private membership with IPVM as I found their reporting to be accurate, factual and well put together. There seems to be a lot of research going in to the various reports and of course Hik is getting a lot of attention being the no 1 manufacturer in our industry. Unfortunately for Hik their track record isn't great of late and when the short comings were exposed their responses weren't great either. To me it seems as if they really couldn't care less about cyber security or other issues they might have as long as their products are finding homes all over the globe.

Jonathan this is not an attack on you personally but after reading the various comments made above I did feel as if you missed much of the accurate reporting that has been taking place on all of the Hikua incidents over the past couple of years...

First, HIK is owned by the Chinese government. In any communist country business and politics are basically one. Second, I was waiting for you to start bashing Trump. I knew it was coming. You finally referred to the current administration. You love to talk about children being separated from their parents at the border but do not have the entire story. You are just repeating a talking point from politicians. That policy didn't start with Trump and many of the children are unaccompanied minors. Since you want more human rights stories like this, let's talk about rape statistics in the Netherlands? According to a 2014 study published by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, the Netherlands had the fourth highest prevalence rate of physical and sexual violence against women in Europe, with 45% of women having experienced such violence, which is well above the European average of 33%.

I am just making a point there. IPVM should on stick to industries stories, not just products. IPVM does a good job of in that regards. The only reason IPVM should be talking about the border is if there is a RFP or Congress passes funds for security on the border. That is industry related. IPVM has helped me by reporting such things as security funding for schools.

I honestly can't believe I've really taken the time to read this whole thread. Goodness gracious. What nonsense. We are very lucky to have IPVM doing what they do in our industry. And in my view, they do an outstanding job of it. JH and team IPVM, stay the course.

Thanks, Skip.

I will say that it is important to let contrasting and critical views be voiced and reasonably discussed on IPVM.

If we do not, we are no better than the China Communist Party...

I see a lot of references to "human rights infringement", "imprisoning of children", "companies are benefiting from this travesty on American soil", "the travesty the Uyghurs are facing in concentration camps by the Chinese government" These are all emotion based statements with subjective opinions on things happening in the world. They really don't have any bearing on the industry. What does have a bearing on the industry is that the US government is looking at these things as part of the consideration for the decisions they are making that actually do impact our industry, like trade tariffs, product bans, etc. "All is said is IPVM is subjective journalism" All journalism is subjective. I have not seen an objective non biased reporting of anything anywhere any time ever. The journalist will ALWAYS in some way present the discussion of information they way they interpret it base on the data they gather. That data may be incomplete, or skewed when provided to them, they may have pre conceived Biases that the data will not change or cannot change. I think IPVM does an excellent job of attempting to report on things in a manner that provides information for you to analyze and help you determine what products best fit your needs as an offering in the business. These comments referencing US companies making money off of these "travesties" is in my opinion idiotic and has no point. The purpose of businesses in this industry is to make money as is the case with every business. Do we have the ability to improve life safety in the process yes, is that a great thing? yes. But the fact that these facilities exist means there is a need for these systems, and our industry is here to fill whatever need exists. To think that profits will not be made addressing those issues, or that it is in some way immoral for the companies that do profit from these jobs is naïve at best. Border security in the US has always been a large, and saught after source of revenue in our industry. being government jobs, they are also heavily impacted by international factors like the Hik ban. The OEM issue makes it much more important and impactful on the industry. The fact that many manufacturers now hav product that they use dpreviously on government jobs that will now be banned is a Huge issue and driver of business within the industry. "Because the Chinese case has 1 name on the contract (HIK), you deem this worthy of a lenghty article. I don't think Hik now has builders in their employee base, they probably outsourced it." IPVM reported on this for the reasons I just listed. It is not just one company named. Hik and Dahua, and the OEM implications of Dahua are much more far reaching than the HIK issue, as far as impact to the industry. Personal political views, and views regarding the "Travesties" listed in the comments on this thread, have no place in being discussed on IPVM. They are not what the journalists at IPVM are here to report on. They are here to report on industry news that is impactful to the industry on a large scale, and or that helps members determine what products fit their needs as an offering by educating on new and existing products, technologies, trends etc.