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China and foreign media: Retired CNN Beijing Bureau Chief weighs in

JUN . 02 2015

Peking University, June 2, 2015: On May 15th, the first of a series of seminars exploring Chinese foreign relations kicked off in the 3rd conference room at the Luce Pavilion Building. Professor Chen Kaihe of the School of Journalism and Communication hosted the conference. Former CNN Bureau Chief Jaime Florcruz was the keynote speaker.

As the longest-serving foreign correspondent in China, Jaime had a lot of insight on the past and future of journalism in China.

In his opening remarks, Jaime pointed out that although he is not Chinese, his ties with China, and the Chinese people, are deep rooted and strong. This is not only because he has lived in China for 40 years, but also because he is an alumni of Peking University. In 1977, he was an undergraduate student studying history. Therefore, he has witnessed the best and the worst of China; including her incredible social and economic development.

Prior to working at CNN News, Jaime was a writer at Time Magazine. Drawing from his experiences at both media outlets, he revealed that the most significant difference is the importance of timeliness in news.

During the conference, Jaime stated that it is important for Chinese media to co-operate with foreign media. Further, he suggested that China needs a commission that would standardize and balance the needs of both Chinese and foreign media houses.

When talking about the experiences of working as a foreign journalist in China, Jaime stated that in the past, many foreign correspondents were reluctant to relocate here, despite being offered a higher salary. It has taken the Chinese Government a long time to allow foreign journalists to cover stories. However, the work environment for journalists is changing for the better. Now, working in China can be a pretty good experience!

During his address, Jaime took a trip down memory lane and showed the audience his first press card. With him were his student card while at Peking University, and numerous keepsakes over his 40 years in China.

Prior to the conclusion of the seminar, Jaime took questions from the audience, particularly from students working for PKU media outlets.

Both teachers and students found this event to be rewarding and inspiring.

Reported by: Lai Huan

Edited by: Alice Namu