Corinne Chang

introspection, news event

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Two months

Guy Smith-director of the BBC Wuhan documentaryGuy Smith's team is filming in WuhanIf I hadn’t interviewed Guy Smith, I might have continued to be a proud returnee: I’ve undertaken one of the best journalism courses, I’ve got a distinction for my final project, I’ve been to nine countries in Europe, being very open-minded. I was described by my supervisor as a “qualified journalist”; I’ve got working experience in China; I’ve got an international perspective……

How can a local newspaper refuse to give me a job? I am upset by this for more than a month, without realizing that I had to prove myself. Over two weeks’ internship in ‘Changjiang Weekly’ made me know that I am competent enough to be a good journalist. However, I was disappointed because the editors didn’t know how to run an English newspaper. Her English is rubbish but she cannot stay fool. She considered herself understand what foreigners like to read whilst the opposite is true. So I left.

I became the intern of “The Wuhan Magazine”. This is not my ideal workplace either, but I like the editor. She is curious about the world, and she truly appreciates the talented. I interviewed Guy Smith without too much preparation, and asked silly questions like “what’s your impression of Wuhan? Anything memorable here?” I became propaganda instead of news-oriented. This made me unable to think independently, and missed the really important questions, such as “how do you shoot in Wuhan? Have you met any difficulties?” Thinking about this, pity rises.

This is an important lesson for me. I felt I cannot stay in media like “Changjiang Daily”, since their frequent question is “what’s your impression of Wuhan”? I could not work in such obvious “pro-government” areas, and maybe agriculture is my best choice. To go deep in the countryside and talk to peasants is a way to find truth, and perhaps I could tell some interesting stories out of it.

I will start to learn interpreting next week. I like English still, and I feel I need to make further progress.

Long time without writing diary. I should recollect it, since only to reflect on myself can I treat my life seriously.


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Wisdom of Crowd

“You do your homework in isolation.” David analysed why my homework cannot meet the requirement. He pointed out that journalism is quite different from my major philosophy, “in philosophy you like to think independently, but in journalism we believe the wisdom of crowd, not of yourself.”


He pointed out one of my biggest problem: bad at learning from others. I am not willingly to learn from other students, thinking that absorbing teacher’s words is fair enough for me. When I was an undergraduate, my teacher asked me to learn self-study, which is an isolation mode. Self-study lay a solid foundation to study independently, and it may be usually used in thinking philosophical questions or things alike.


However, journalists deal with practical problems everyday, so isolated thinking is not suitable. Rather, believe in WISDOM OF CROWD is the right way. David said, the way that we get to know is no-longer one-person centred, and everyone should be the contributor. Because there are so much imformation everyday, and people’s accesses to information vary. So it is probable that every people else get information that I do not have. 

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Am I born in the wrong country?

“Is it possible to be a good journalist in dictatorship?”


“Oh, you said dictatorship yourself.”


“You don’t think so?”


“Well, I think so. Personally, I think impossible to be in that system while still be a good journalist.”


I made the conversation with my lecturer Paul today. Chinese students have hunch that teachers here treat us with prejudice, and they don’t pay equal attention to Chinese as to students of other nations.


Today’s short conversation with Paul made me finally realize the reason. Lecturers here believe that we can never be good professionals, as long as we do not have the freedom of Press. So why should they try to cultivate Chinese students? It is like giving hope to the hopeless thing.


I talked with Bujia on Indian democracy. She said it was an ineffective system, but still much better then Communism, which does not give people freedom of expression. Bujia is one of the foreigners who believe that freedom of press is the fundamental condition for a state to be founded.


 China lacks the basis of a wrong country. And is by many people from their inner heart. For them, Chinese students were the products of China’s systems, so they should not be good as well.


 It is a pity that we were only taken as tool to make money, not students to be educated. True that I am confronted with huge shock until now, and I am surprised about how democracy wrongs, and how westerners dare to question the leaders. But these were not our faults. We grew up in certain type of environment and not in the way that foreigners expected, why cannot they tolerate us at this point?


Continue seeing, how western society is judging China. I don’t expect fanciness from teachers any more. And I never tried to achieve this, may be for them I was born in the wrong country, but I love my motherland so much and I was struggling to make it better.   

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training to write breaking news

Paul’s training of breaking news:

A British Airway flight from Beijing to London crash-landed at midday. No one of the 225 passengers, plus a crew of 15, was injured.

“It was the scariest day of my life,” said PC, a passenger from the plane. But no passengers went beyond scary. The airhostess Dorothy Malone said “there was no panic on the plane…everyone exited safely down the chutes.”

Airport officials said the plane’s engines cut out on the approach, it narrowly missed a six lane highways and crashlands on the edge of runway one.

Aviation experts and rescue officials said it was too early to speculate on the reasons for the crash. But police excluded terrorism 1as cause.

BAA said the airport had to be closed for four hours, causing traffic chaos. Among those delayed were Prime Minister Gordon brown on an official visit to China.

The majority of the passengers were British businessmen returning from Beijing. BA’s confirmation that no one was injured was a comfort.

For BA, there was still a big loss.  Goldman Sachs aviation expert Paul Majendie said “ this could be a severe blow for BA’s bottom line.”

another is an online piece written for a website in Harrow:

A mother and her 4.5-year-old daughter died in a family fire on 1 October. The tragedy could be evitable with smoke alarms fitted and the nearest fire station open.

The unfortunate family had lived at 43 Crispin Way, Farringdon. There had lived the 38-year-old mother-of –two, Jane Smith, and her children: 4.5 year-old Rebecca and 18-month-old Martin.

Martin Smith, the toddler of the dead mother, is in the intensive care unit at Bart’s Hospital. He has burns to his face and hands.

“They were a lovely family, ”said the first-discoverer of the fire, Arthur Taplow. It took four hours to bring the fire under control. Three fire engines arrived at 11.43 pm together with a water tender.

The fire engines came from the Fire Station five miles away. The fire station, which was only two miles away, was closed last year as part of the cuts made by the council , to bring council tax spending under control.

Police didn’t think the fire was foul play. However, the house did not have smoke alarms fitted. “If they had, perhaps Mrs. Smith and Rebecca would still be here today,” said Peter Turnbull, chief inspector of the metropolitan police.

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You do not look like a journalist

In today’s Newspaper Journalism class, Frank criticized me for not reading one tabloid and one quality paper everyday. He said: “ This is why you cannot get ideas for stories. You do not look like a journalist.”


He is right in that lack of reading stories cannot make me a good journalist. But besides that, what is the thing that I really lack?


This afternoon after class, I have a short chat with Frank and Alex. I took a piece of THE Sun and showed Frank a title “Barack Obama is on track to beat Mitt Romney”. I thought the title is given by prejudice, because Barack Obama has not DEFINITELY won at the time.


“No, it is not prejudice. Do you have opinion polls in your country?” Frank questioned me. He said, the headline is based on the results of opinion polls, and journalist of course can write reports.  People knew the politicians and they voted for the one the loved. This is how democracy works. Otherwise dictatorship.


Frank is right. We got to know the background of Chinese politicians from foreign media. We just got their education background and work experience from CCTV, and did not know anything else. We cannot say anything bad about the politicians on TV. Journalists became the one who only knows how to praise government and does what they asked you to do.


Journalists forgot public interests then.


It is not what I cannot do that matters. It is my responsibility that I seldom realize this. I took the distinction of good news and bad news for granted. I accepted my ex-editor’s view that negative things should be reported positively. Frank said that there are about 100 protests in China everyday, but we just could see from TV that westerners protest now and then, because all protests in China were forbidden by Propaganda Departments. Journalists knew that they cannot interview the protests so they did not come to see what happened. Journalists in China began as blind as ordinary citizens there.


We then gradually accept positive news and negative news. We took reporting good news for granted. But as Frank said, why good news should be reported. The Good is normal so bad things need to be reported. If good news being reported constantly, that means the system is problematic, and bad things are normal.


My worst problem is the problem innate. I want to learn from the UK but do not know from where to learn. I read THE Sun everyday to learn a service-centred way of writing news. But what I really need to change is journalists’ idea of journalism here. I chose the career not because it is profitable, but because I can fulfill myself and let my idea to always live within my heart. Also, I would bring this back to China, and make a little difference.



Without a freedom of words, there can be no democracy. Whether we choose democracy or not, people, especially journalists, should be given the free chances to report. 

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you can change

In The Nine, Tubin introduces that the judgment of the Supreme Court can be precedents, and act as the references of later judgments. That means if you are a party in a trial, you are possibly a creator of precedents, and you can do something to influence your offspring.

Although China inclines to legal principles, it accepts precedents sometimes as well. Moreover, the formation of new principles is based on some significant precedents. You can influence the legal system in China as well.

To influence through being a party of the trial? Not by committing crimes, not by doing something illegal, but by realizing your rights and trying to defend your own rights. Being on court is not always shameful. Many times it means you think your rights are threatened, and you use the civil way, by taking advantage of laws, to uphold your rights as a citizen.

So, what you show to the next generation may not only be a precedent, but also a tradition. See, my boy, if you are confronted with the similar problem, you can do something like me, it’s not hard; if you face other problems, you can also term to court, I did this, can you can also do.

Laws are not made by some experts. Laws are created and reformed with our efforts. To say when you think that something unfair happens to you. Your saying may separate your next generation from the same unfairness.           

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If love takes time, should I still love?

I spent, on average, two hours a day talking with my boyfriend. He now works in China, and we feel even “two hours” is far from enough. Right now, we become busier, I have lots of things to study, and he also needs to prepare for post-graduate entrance examination.

But none of us gave up the precious two hours. As long as I am having no class, I would firstly think of phoning him. I knew it has already exerted a bad effect on my study, and if I look the two hours into study, and if I spent the time daydreaming our problems studying, I might be a good student, who would do as I did as an undergraduate.

Everyone around me said our relationship is worth time devotion. A majority of them want to find a good partner but have not at the moment, and I am lucky enough to have someone treat me so well. But I do not know whether they will be still think so if they were in a relationship. So a in-a-relationship person’s word should be more persuasive.

Last Friday I met Tenzin, who I should not talk to since he supports the independence of Tibet. After the interview, I found that he has a fiancée in China, and he will phone her at least for one hour a day. I talked my puzzles with Tenzin, and he reminded me of something that neither I nor my family had paid attention to.

My family, including my boyfriend, always encourages me to focus on study. But I should never bewilder by this. What I should know, as a grown-up, is that I am no longer merely a student. One important social role is the girlfriend of my boyfriend. Life is not just study, and we have social roles more than a student.

Yeah, my boyfriend means so much to me. Why am I so mean to give up the two-hours a day? When asked study or boyfriend, which is the priority, I still take the latter firstly. love takes time, but isn’t because of this that I cherish love more? So the right way, I conclude, is that I should take advantage of the two hours properly and be as wonderful as a girlfriend as possible.