Reading and watching journalists

Time permitting, I think it will be a worthy endeavor to conduct a study of the history of China reporting and its impact worldwide. In order for the study to be valuable, the entity who is doing it should not have a patronizing attitude, who has the need to enlighten, educate, and proselytize to fill the void within and to feel good about themselves. Nor should the entity suffer from victim-hood, wallow in shame and self-hatred, and is unwilling or unable to look forward. Or a mixture of the two. Instead, s/he should have a healthy does of empathy and compassion. To the extent that is possible, s/he looks at things the way they were and are, readily admits his/her bias, instead of pretending to be objective.

To go one step further, how fascinating would it be, if we can collect and read people’s diaries, private correspondence, and other candid, honest writings on China without it being filtered and editorialized, kind of like good blogs we have today.

Like I mentioned before here, I am always curious to learn how, in general, do foreign journalists gather news in countries they are stationed at, if and how their reporting is edited back at the headquarter, to what extent does headquarter give orders on what to cover and what not to cover and productivity requirement, who decides the eye-catching headline and the pictures that go along with it, how many of those journalists know (speaking/reading/writing) Chinese, and if not, how reporting is done, to what extent do they rely on local assistants, how do they interact with their assistants. The list goes on and on. And I believe for a journalist or a news organization to have credibility, it needs to be forthcoming with the questions above.

In particular, I found my fellow Chinese-American Melinda Liu, Edward Wong, and Gillian Wong interesting. No, not necessarily their “reporting”, but what they tend to report over time and how they go about collecting info and writing it.

To gripe about reporting on other countries, replace China with your choice: Russia, Japan, Israel, Iran, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Korea, Venezuela, or whatever.

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