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One of my biggest challenges working in China over the past few years has been making inroads into the Chinese press. Notorious for the control that is placed upon the industry by the state, it is hard for foreign reporters to contemplate working under such restrictions that see their work scrutinized so closely and possibly edited accordingly.
Recently, I have started to have more and more work appear in the Chinese press, with relatively little interference. By far the most popular story for garnering interest from the Chinese press has been my work on the issue of desertification in China. Many editors and reporters who have contacted me seem fascinated that a non-Chinese that is reporting this issue, providing a new and fresh visual representation of the issue. Surprisingly also is that many editors have been in contact with me state that the fact they know I have been in China for a number of years, adds to the ‘credibility’ of my work and makes them trust me and it more.
In this post I have included some tearsheets of my desertification work appearing in two recent magazines, Phoenix Weekly, the popular Hong Kong based current affairs magazine and in City Construction, a Beijing-based publication that falls into the hands of many of the city’s engineers, scientists and government workers.
One of may main goals has been not to just report issues in China to the non-Chinese communities both in Europe, America etc. but also to the Chinese people themselves. It is of paramount importance that I reach out to them so that I can spread the word within China itself, as it is the Chinese people themselves who are going to combat the issue. By putting my work out there in Chinese publications, I hope that I can do my part to raise awareness of this desperately under-reported issue.