Media Talk: Has western coverage of the China story become stale and cliched?

Talk Thursday 23rd August, 2007

While the western media focuses on the well-worn stories of economic growth and human rights abuses, China is undergoing a huge economic and social transformation.

Divisions between the cities and the countryside, an urgent need for energy resources, the showcasing of the upcoming Olympics, the rise of social activism and tectonic shifts in the country’s foreign policy – China is by no means a one-story country.

Many argue this complexity is not reflected in western media coverage of this huge and complex country.

Our panel discusses whether we are still looking at China through the prism of the Cold War and what the really big uncovered stories are in China.

Rob Gifford – former China correspondent for NPR, author of China Road: a Journey into the Future of a Rising Power.

Duncan Hewitt – BBC correspondent in China from 1997 to 2002. He now writes for Newsweek and other publications from Shanghai, and is the author of Getting Rich First: Life in a changing China.

Catherine Sampson – former China correspondent for The Times , author of The Pool of Unease.

Lifen Zhang – Editor,, Financial Times. Previously worked for the BBC as a journalist, producer, news editor and journalism trainer.

Moderated by Carrie Gracie – News 24 Presenter and former BBC correspondent in China.