A TV journalist in China who was photographed wearing sunglasses and holding an umbrella to shelter from the heat was suspended from her job. 

The journalist was photographed while conducting an interview in Xiamen on efforts to help the city recover from typhoon Meranti, the strongest storm of its kind this year, the BBC reported. 

Her appearance was a stark contrast to the volunteers she was interviewing as they helped clean up after the storm which killed one person in China. 

The images went viral, with many accusing her of being unprofessional. 

"One of our journalists didn’t obey our rules and failed to conduct an interview properly," Xiamen TV station said in a statement. 

Shanghai-based female TV journalist Yijing Lin told the BBC that it must be understood in the context of the expectations and image the Chinese public has of journalists. 

"I wouldn’t call it a stereotype, but it does happen," she said. 

"I see adventurous people who don’t mind getting their feet dirty," an image that many would associate with journalists reporting in the aftermath of bad weather. 

It was unclear if the suspension will eventually lead to dismissal, but the issue has got China talking about the ethics of journalism as well as the power of online indignation.