Broadcaster's book opens a new chapter

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Kang's recently-published book Average Score records his life, starting from his childhood. [Photo provided to China Daily]

After years of broadcasting news on China Central Television, Kang Hui has become an item of newsworthy interest himself. Despite his fame, he prefers to keep a low profile but he has actually become popular on the internet with his penetrating judgments and his vlog introducing China's diplomacy.

"I never expected that I would become popular online, but I'm willing to take that responsibility, and will do a good job. People can get information from various channels and I would like to try to pass on information from different channels to them, especially young people."

Kang's surge in popularity is due in no small part to his new book Average Score (Ping Jun Fen). Published by Changjiang Literature and Arts Publishing House, the book records Kang's life story from childhood. It scored highly, with 7.1 points out of 10, on China's popular review platform Douban.

At the book launch on Nov 30 in Beijing, Kang said he had originally rejected the idea about writing a book on himself.

"I always believe I am someone who has few stories to tell since I didn't experience many ups and downs. I have just led an ordinary life," he says.

But a publisher changed his mind when he told him not to underestimate his experiences.

[Photo provided to China Daily]

"He said you just put down what you have experienced. Even if only one sentence would touch a reader, and make him or her resonate with you, the book is meaningful," recalls Kang when he explained how he was persuaded to put pen to paper.

Kang says, modestly, that the title means he is very ordinary in terms of talent. "I have to strive continuously so that I can achieve an average score. I cannot gain an edge over others without huge effort in any area."

After anchoring Xinwen Lianbo, one of the world's most-watched news programs produced by CCTV, for more than a decade, Kang's name is now closely linked to this program. Kang intertwined his story in the book with the program and its changes over the years.

Xinwen Lianbo is a highly demanding live program and Kang freely admits to the pressure in anchoring it. "Every word I say carries huge weight, every second I stay in the studio is a political task, and every day is like an exam for me. Even after anchoring it for more than a decade, I still feel tense every time I sit in the chair."

As a journalist and anchorman at CCTV, he has also witnessed many important events in Chinese history and recorded some of them, including the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake and the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. For example, when he reported on the expo, he was required to make introductory videos about different pavilions to attract greater public interest. He and his colleagues battled the crowds and joined the queues to enter the pavilions. Dealing with the influx of so many visitors added to the problems of filming, picking the right shots and angles. After several weeks, it took a toll on his voice which nearly played havoc with his live broadcasts.

A Douban user, Caomeicaomeidexigua, says: "I can feel Kang's frankness from this book, the parts about his family life attracted me the most. And his letter to his mother moves me to tears."

Besides his work experiences, Kang also talks about his family life, including stories of his parents, sister, wife and two cats. "We should always remind ourselves to express love to those we hold dear," Kang points out at the book launch.

Douban user Lulu says: "I can imagine his character and his ways of dealing with things after reading the book. I have similar characteristics, but he is much more strict with himself. I should learn from him."

Kang, ever the professional, is critical about his writing. "The time was quite limited for me to write this book, and I always feel my writing is very tense."

Kang says readers may not know everything about him after reading the book, "but if some points can hit the target and make them smile, I guess that would be the best interaction between us".

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