There is more than one definition to the word “trip.” At its simplest it just means going to some place not close from where you started. But on a deeper level, going on a trip can mean a journey of some unexpected dimension or consequence.
Both definitions apply to Prøf. Tom Plate’s recent “trip” to Mainland China at the end of June. Meticulously organized by the influential All-China Journalists Association, founded in1937, the 8-day swing included two-day stops on Guangzhou, Wuhan (Hubei Province) and Beijing.
Plate, the founder of The New ASIA MEDIA (asiamedia.lmu.edu), and Loyola Marymount University’s Distinguished Scholar of Asian and Pacific Studies, spoke to various groups of journalism students, media leaders and working journalists. His speaking appearances included major Chinese media institutions, including the Nafang Media Group, the Hubei Daily Media Group, Xinhua News Agency, China Radio International and China Daily, the nation’s largest circulation English language daily.
Prof. Tom – as he is called by LMU students – also offered informal seminars with Chinese journalism students, from the School of Journalism and Communications at Jinan University and the School of Journalism and Communication at Wuhan University. A scheduled discussion with teachers and journalists at the Communication University of China was cancelled when a ferocious rainstorm closed down Beijing International Airport and Prof. Plate and ACJA’s Fang Xinjian were left stranded in Hubei overnight!
Plate says he was deeply honored by ACJA’s decision to offer him this lecture-trip to China. Indeed, while the historic professional journalists’ association has organized group tours of China for U.S. and other foreign professionals, Plate was the first individual foreign journalist so honored.
“Three things could not be clearer about China. One is that unlike in the U.S., the journalism profession is booming. Every month there are ore jobs; every year more young people enroll in journalism schools. The second thing is that the Chinese media in evolving as its middle class grows along with its globalization. And the third thing is, the country, though it has many problems, is bursting at the seams with the energy of its people.”
But what about the role of journalists in helping to improve the relationship between China and America? Plate says: “That role is crucial. Slopping reporting and serious mis-conceptualization on either side can seriously stall or even impede bilateral progress. Journalists in America have a moral obligation to get the China story right – but so do China journalists. Either side spreading lies or repeating clichés will do nothing for peace and prosperity in Asia.”
(Frontpage image caption: Summertime Conversation with the vice president of China Radio International: Columnist and Prof. Tom Plate with Xia (Summer) Jixuan, who lays out an ambitious vision for his CRI as China itself continues to amaze the world.)
See Professor Plate’s column on how China and the U.S. need to improve their language:
- http://english.cri.cn/08china/ — on China Radio International’s English-language webpage
- http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-1.asp?xfile=/data/opinion/2013/July/opinion_July30.xml§ion=opinion — on the opinion page of Khaleej Times in Dubai
- http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2013/07/172_139283.html – on the opinion page of Korea Times in Seoul
And that column in Chinese translation:
既不要「圍堵中國」 也不用「和平共存」 at: http://www.scmpchinese.com/tc