Journalists don't need to hunt out weird news

By Huang Baixing
0 CommentsPrint E-mail Global Times, March 7, 2011
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Since I have been engaged in work relevant to news reporting, I made some reporter friends at home and abroad who have told me plenty of anecdotes.

Two stories that I heard separately from my foreign friends, who are Beijing-based correspondents, surprised me.

The first one is about an instruction from the reporter's boss from his own country, requiring him to pay attention to the "two sessions" in China, the National People's Congress (NPC) and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

The order itself gave no cause for blame, as the two sessions not only are important in China but also draws global attention. However, the boss appointed him a specific task - to product some "weighty" articles that regard "China's political struggle among the national leaders."

"There are plenty of news on the two sessions such as the government's work report, the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15), the economic restructuring, the press conference, and countless other related matters, but my boss just asked me to work on such a weird topic," the journalist complained to me, "Does he want me to make up the stories?"

The second story happened to another foreign reporter friend of mine, whose boss at home commanded him to wait at a specific spot because something "would probably take place" in the downtown area of a metropolis.

The journalist went with his colleagues for several days while nothing occurred.

"We were planning to 'see the fun,' but suddenly I realized that I had been made fun of," he joked, "This makes me feel uncomfortable."

It seems that my two friends are honest and have a conscience. As far as I know, quite a few foreign reporters who work in Beijing have been asked to cover the "possible event" by their boss at home.

It is just these abnormal actions that aroused the vigilance of the law enforcement, for it provoked curious people crowding around the spot.

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