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Australian Writer's Week on Journalism to Peking University

Peking University, Mar. 20, 2014: On March 20, the panel named Journalism in the Age of Globalization and Australian Perspectives took place at Yingjie Overseas Exchange Center, Peking University.

Organized by the Australian Embassy Beijing, the lecture is a part of Australian Writer’s Week of March 2014. It features the Australian journalist Pamela Williams–investigative reporter at The Australian Financial Review. She has won five Walkley Awards since 1994, which is the equivalent of Pritzker Award in Australia. She is also the author of two best-selling books.

Apart from a large number of Peking University students filling the Moonlight hall, a dozen of Australian scholars, novelist and journalists attended the lecture.

Williams started the forum by her twenty-minute lecture, the topic of which was centered on Journalism in the Age of Globalization.

The future of journalism seems bleak to some in the Age of Globalization with widespread social media pushing news every minute to global readers. There are prevalent cases of journalists being laid-off. Media organizations are struggling to “keep heads above water.” But Pamela Williams still remains confident and believes that “journalism has a healthy future.”

Williams sees the impact that the Internet is having on journalism as in the short term, birth pangs, but in the long term, instigator for “industrial revolution” of journalism.

In her view, there are two means to save the journalism industry. First, by patronage–media backed up by very rich man and families (Amazon and The Washington Post brought up here) and second by utilizing new Internet platforms when conducting traditional journalism–by “recreating itself.”

After the lecture, Prof. David Walker–a leading scholar in Australian representations of Asian proposed more than half a dozen questions to Williams.

The panel proceeded with a Q&A session among the audience, in which Australian scholars, Peking University students and professors, and a professor from Tsinghua University who dubbed himself as coming from “across the road” actively joined this session. The questions varied from “idea about tablets like Amazon Kindle” to “the sorts of skills current journalists need in order to survive.”

The panel ended with Williams’ answering of Prof. He Shu’s (professor in School of Journalism and Communication, Peking University) question and souvenir to Williams presented by Peking University student.

Throughout the panel, Williams reiterated what she thought as the essence of being a journalist and expressed her optimism for future journalism. “Check the fact,” said Williams. “I think human beings will always want to read news, like what ancient people did looking for the story on the next cave. People remain hungry for a long story that gets into the real fact. In the end, journalism will sustain.”


Written by: Chen Runxi

Edited by: Zhang Jiang