CDT Interview Series: Chinese Journalists Talk About the Olympics, Tibet, and Cross-Cultural Understanding (1)
[Editor's Note: Since March, a series of events including unrest in Lhasa and protests following the Olympic torch relay, have brought to the surface a clash between nationalist elements of the Chinese public and international critics of China. Because of tight control by the propaganda department, the issues of Tibet, foreign criticism of China's human rights record, and nationalism are not allowed to be publicly debated in the Chinese media. But what do Chinese journalists really think about these issues? In an effort to gain a more nuanced answer to this question, CDT interviewed four working Chinese journalists. Most of the interviewees prefer to remain anonymous. They are all based in Beijing and work in various national magazines and newspapers. CDT has not edited their responses. The first of four interviews follows.]
Interview with a Chinese Journalist – by Meredith Godwin
This interviewee is an investigative reporter working for a national publication.
CDT: How you do feel about the Olympics being in Beijing? What does it mean for China, for the Chinese people?
Journalist: The main purpose of the Olympics for the Chinese is to use it as a chance to reveal the huge economic achievements of the past 20 years to Westerners.
CDT: What’s your view on the protests around the Olympic Torch – as a Chinese, how do you see that? If you’re talking to someone protesting the situation in Tibet, or Darfur, or China’s human rights record, what do you say?
Journalist: About the protests, I think there are lots of misunderstandings and as a Chinese, personally, I wish for the torch to pass peacefully. But in the history of the Olympics, when the torch passed through different countries, protests have actually always happened. So when China accepted to be the host of the Olympics, they
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