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Reporter's university post sparks debate

[ 2009-05-22 13:12]     字号 [] [] []  
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Veteran journalist Yin Hong will be given a senior university role thus becoming the third reporter promoted by the Yunnan government within a year.

Yin, 47, has worked for the popular national newspaper China Youth Daily since 1985 and is now the head of its Yunnan bureau.

On May 13, the provincial government announced that it had nominated Yin to become vice-president at the Yunnan University of Finance and Economics - a prefecture-level position in the country's civil service system.

The appointment has renewed debate about the role of journalists and the media in China.

Yin's promotion follows that of Wang Zhi, a well-known host from the China Central Television, who was appointed vice-mayor of the popular tourist destination city of Lijiang.

In addition, Wu Hao from the Xinhua News Agency recently became vice-director of the provincial information office.

Yin earned fame for an investigation into a riot in which two people were killed in Menglian county last year and the extradition of Hu Xing, a corrupt official who had been on the run from the police.

"Yin has been adhering to the principles and policies of the Party and the government, and maintained the correct orientation of public opinion when working as a journalist," the announcement said.

As a member of the local political consultative committee, he hadmade quite a few proposals to local government, it added.

Guo Weiqing, a professor of public administration at Guangzhou's Sun Yat-sen University, said the appointment scrambled the roles of media and government.

"This trend is not good," he said. "It will give the public an idea that the government officials, the media and even the academic institutes do not have different roles in society."

But, he added, local government could enhance the quality of its staff by recruiting outstanding journalists.

Yin said that he had worked as a journalist for a long time and now wanted a career change.

"Working at university is a proper choice for me as I used to teach at Yunnan University before going in to the media," he said.

He added many China Youth Daily journalists resigned when they were aged in their 40s.

"The newspaper is for young readers and it should have people close to their age to write for them," he said.

Some netizens felt the media's supervisory role might be further weakened if more journalists became government officials.

"Media supervision will be nonsense if journalists become officials," a netizen from Beijing wrote yesterday.

"They won't expose the bad news any more and will probably cause more corruption."


1. In which province did the promotion take place?

2. What was the name of the Chinese newspaper that the former journalist used to work for?

3. What is the primary criticism of the journalist’s appointment?


1. Yunnan.

2. China Youth Daily .

3. That mixing the roles of the media, academics and officials may lead to weaker reporting, more corruption and collusion between these three sectors of society.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Reporter's university post sparks debate

Reporter's university post sparks debateBrendan joined The China Daily in 2007 as a language polisher in the Language Tips Department, where he writes a regular column for Chinese English Language learners, reads audio news for listeners and anchors the weekly video news in addition to assisting with on location stories. Elsewhere he writes Op’Ed pieces with a China focus that feature in the Daily’s Website opinion section.

He received his B.A. and Post Grad Dip from Curtin University in 1997 and his Masters in Community Development and Management from Charles Darwin University in 2003. He has taught in Japan, England, Australia and most recently China. His articles have featured in the Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, The Asia News Network and in-flight magazines.