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Journalism and Free Speech: The China Stories

February 24 | 10AM-4PM | New Haven, CT USA

How should newsrooms support journalists facing political retaliation? What does journalistic accountability truly mean for U.S. and global newsrooms? On Friday, February 24, join us at Yale University in discussion with renowned journalists on the ethics of reporting in and on China and Hong Kong.

Conference Schedule, Friday, Feb 24

See more details on the Yale website

10am – 10:20am

Introduction: Reporting on China without fear or favor – Jeremy Goldkorn

Opening Remark: China’s reach beyond its borders – Arne Westad

10:20am – 12:00pm

Panel 1: The price of reporting 

Journalists reporting on the Chinese government’s oppression often become targets of silencing campaigns themselves. The price of telling the truth is high: many journalists face state-led harassment, slandering and even death threats; others are forced to leave their homeland, yet the intimidation campaigns reach foreign shores. However, these brave reporters from Hong Kong and mainland China have pressed on. In this session, we will hear personal stories from three speakers: Vicky Xu, known for her role in exposing the systematic forced Uyghur labor in China; Tin Shui Yeung, who documented protests and social movements in Hong Kong from 2014 to 2020; and Muyi Xiao, who has been following China’s surveillance and global propaganda campaign through visual investigations and digital forensics.

Moderator: Jeremy Goldkorn

Speakers: Vicky Xu, Tin Shui Yeung, Muyi Xiao





12:45pm – 2:15pm

Panel 2: Storytelling, ethics and responsibilities of reporting on China 

What kind of stories are told about China in the Anglophone press? Who is the audience of these stories and what narratives have they reproduced? Is “seeking the truth” sufficient justification to pursue a story, and what are the ethics and responsibilities of journalism in the face of political and personal risks? In this session, we will hear about the power of narratives, the ethics of China reporting, and the responsibilities of journalism from three speakers: Yangyang Cheng, writer and research scholar at Yale Law School; Muyi Xiao, visual investigation reporter for The New York Times; and Zeyi Yang, China Tech reporter at MIT Technology Review.

Moderator: Jeremy Goldkorn

Speakers: Yangyang Cheng, Muyi Xiao, Zeyi Yang



2:30pm – 4pm

Panel 3: Diaspora, diversity, and power dynamics in the global newsroom

When a repressive regime cracks down on journalism within its borders, some journalists continue to raise their voices outside the borders. In this session, Shirley Ka Lai Leung, independent journalist and former reporter for Apple Daily Hong Kong, will talk about the challenges and potentials of independent reporting and Hong Kong diaspora journalism. Justine Yan, audio producer for NPR, will discuss personal narrative, poetry, and audio storytelling as sites of possibility for disrupting the binary between Chinese and Chinese-American stories. Jin Ding, Chief of Staff at the Center for Public Integrity, will talk about the power dynamics in the journalism profession, and diversity in and beyond the global newsroom.

Moderator: Yangyang Cheng

Speakers: Shirley Leung, Justine Yan, Jin Ding