CDT ChinaCast: Interview with PRI’s Mary Kay Magistad

In this edition of CDT ChinaCast’s Foreign Correspondents Series, seven-year China veteran Mary Kay Magistad of Public Radio International in Beijing talks about rural challenges such as health care and a lack of substantive rural growth, environmental coverage, and positive prospects for the new young generation who don’t have much political baggage or memory of upheavals. She also appreciates being a reporter couple, with the Boston Globe’s Jehangir Pocha, with whom she shares travels and insights into work-related subjects. Her decade-long interactions with hundreds of Chines farmers have gained her deep insight into China’s poor. Even without agricultural taxes, Magistad says, farmers still worry about paying tuition for their kids. The biggest burden, however, is health care. A little girl’s broken arm drove her parents into months of migrant labor and months more of paying off the debt. Something a little more serious could easily cripple a rural family.

Listen to the interview here.

Listen to some of Magistad’s radio reports here: 4-part environment series (Part I, print; Part II, print; Part III, print; Part IV, print), China migrant report, Charitability in China, and Global Migration and Immigration (print) for Nieman Reports Fall 2006 Issue

CDT ChinaCast is a podcast series of short and informal conversations with journalists, business people, artists and others doing interesting work in China. For the initial series, China Digital Times bloggers will interview foreign correspondents about their lives and work. The interviews do not aspire to find solutions to the many contradictions and challenges facing China in the 21st century – rather, we hope to offer a personal look at day-to-day life in one of the most complex and dynamic countries on earth. How do foreign reporters go about the business of covering China? What are some of the most unusual stories that have come out of the country in recent years? And what do expat journalists living in Beijing or Shanghai do for fun?

– To subscribe to our podcasts, see our Podcast page.


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