Mike Chinoy, former CNN Senior Asia Correspondent and current research fellow at the US-China Institute, spoke on the role of foreign correspondents in China’s history and perception in the West as part of the Public Diplomacy Series at the Josef Korbel School last week.
Chinoy reported and narrated the Assignment: China series, a documentary series in collaboration with the US-China Institute. On the 40th anniversary of Nixon’s historic trip to China, the Public Diplomacy series began with a documentary on the weeklong 1972 trip. Chinoy spoke about the second part of the documentary series on Friday regarding the lives of foreign correspondents in the opening of China to the West.
The 2008 Olympics in Beijing afforded a rare look over the wall of China’s tightly controlled media. But Chinoy has advocated for a move towards stories that showcase the complexity of China’s transition.
“China over the past 20 years has been a process, not a single event, which doesn’t conform itself to traditional journalism,” said Chinoy. Starting his career with CBS and NBC, Chinoy has covered China since 1975 and was a CNN correspondent until 2006.
“I think China is really important, and it’s in people’s own interest to know more about it,” he said. Covering topics from China’s relationship to Taiwan to transitions in its economy, Chinoy sees this as a time for Chinese officials to figure out where to go next.
In conjunction with the Josef Korbel School’s Center for US-China Cooperation, Chinoy’s visit fit in with the goal of the Public Diplomacy Series: to provide students with a learned prospective on global issues of the day.
Chinoy’s visit kicked off the first event in the 2012 Public Diplomacy series; former Army Chief of Staff General Casey spoke with the series in the fall quarter.
-Sarah Crozier, MA Candidate, International Development
Josef Korbel School of International Studies