One after another, participants voiced their concern for the precarious livelihood of the young journalists, especially those working in inland and remote areas.
“I hope the government can intervene and think of a way to help raise the income of journalists,”said Liu Fang, a second-year student at a graduate journalism program of Beijing Foreign Studies University.
Liu Yiran next recalled her seven straight hours covering a poisonous gas leak at a chemical plant. Despite suffering a severe headache and numbness in the mouth, she was asked to stay for live coverage by China Central Television.
“We have no subsidies to pay for these health hazard stories,” she said in a telephone interview after the workshop. Liu’s salary is 2,000 yuan a month after tax. The average GDP per head of Lanzhou residents is 2,130 yuan per month last year.
“I have to work extremely hard to support myself. I also need to use my own money to maintain good relations with my sources for exclusive stories,” she said.
“If a company wants to offer me a red envelope with a couple of hundred yuan in cash for me to write a promotional story, I don’t see why I should refuse it.”