Victor Navasky Brings a Message of Free Speech to China

Victor Navasky was editor of The Nation from 1978 to 1995 before becoming publisher and now publisher emeritus of the magazine. In 2005, he won the George Polk Book Award for “A Matter of Opinion,” which has been described as, “a historically significant view of the role that public discourse plays in sustaining the democratic process in an age of mass media and corporate dominance.” He is currently Director of the Delacorte Center for Magazine Journalism at Columbia University and chairman of the Columbia Journalism Review, which now publishes a Chinese version.
Navasky took his first trip to China last year, and Josie Liu recently talked to him for CDT about his impressions of the country, CJR in Chinese, and why he thinks press freedom would be good for China.

Victor Navasky Brings a Message of Free Speech to China
Oct.13, 2009, Iowa City, IA

Speaking at the University of Iowa this week, Victor Navasky, publisher emeritus of The Nation, told nearly 100 journalism students about the first lesson in journalism he ever learned: Journalism should be a thorn in the side of authorities.
Navasky said the same thing last year to a group of Chinese journalism professors, students, and top media executives in Beijing. At the 2008 World Media Summit, where he gave a keynote speech, he advocated for free press and expression. The speech was simultaneously interpreted to nearly 200 audience members at the conference without interference. After his speech, however, the moderator commented on the message by saying, very politely, that different societies have different perspectives.

Navasky, 77, currently the Director of the Delacorte Center for Magazine Journalism at Columbia University and chairman of the Columbia Journalism Review, which he helped bring to China, said he believes “it is a mistake” for the Chinese government to suppress

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