Bill Bishop, “The China Hand’s China Hand”

At PandoDaily, Hamish McKenzie interviews Bill Bishop, also known on Twitter as @niubi, whom Danwei’s Jeremy Goldkorn credits as the first to break the news in English of Wang Lijun’s flight from Chongqing.

With his relentless tweeting, constant scouring of Sina Weibo, and a daily newsletter, Sinocism, in which he compiles and comments on the most important China-related news of the day in both English and Chinese, Bishop has fashioned himself as a kind of uber-aggregator, but one who moves beyond just link harvesting and helps outsiders make sense of China, which with all its complexities and contradictions is one of the world’s most confounding stories.

In previous interviews, Bishop has expressed a belief that social media should “supplement and improve” journalism, which is exactly what he does. “The old days of a handful of editors determining the news agenda, especially about China, are gone,” he told expat business magazine Agenda Beijing. “[T]he challenge for consumers is to figure out who to trust.” People I’ve talked to during my two months in China suggest Bishop himself, recently included on a list of Foreign Policy’s Twitterati 100, is a good man to trust.