The Role of Foreign Correspondents in China
Abstract: For real-time news of China, the English-speaking world relies on just a few dozen people: the foreign correspondents of major international media organizations, who are based almost exclusively in Beijing and Shanghai. These individuals have, at times, been celebrated as an important window into affairs in China - or they have been maligned as providing an incomplete, biased picture of the country. To work out which view is more reasonable, we can consider who foreign correspondents are, the forces that motivate or constrain them, the values they are guided by, and how they interact with Chinese society and authorities. Ultimately, the assessment of how successful foreign correspondents are in covering China depends on first deciding what role they are expected to play. Should they be first-draft historians, watchdogs or public-facing Sinologists – impartial observers, activists or educators?
Speaker: Christian Shepherd
Bio: Christian Shepherd is a Beijing-based reporter for Reuters, covering China's politics, society and diplomacy. He previously worked as a researcher for the Financial Times, also in Beijing, covering China’s automotive and steel industries. He has studied Philosophy and Psychology at Oxford University, Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Nottingham Ningbo and Mandarin Chinese at Tsinghua University.
Venue & Date: DB-A04, 4:00-5:30pm