Starved of news after tightly scripted Party Congress, foreign press swarm and devour Australian woman
Andrea Yu, the Australian reporter called on a miraculous four times during the Communist Party congress which ended yesterday, first claimed her secret, as the Wall Street Journal reported, is
sitting in the same spot at every official meeting. She also credits her ability to make across-the-room eye-contact with moderators.
Then ABC's China correspondent Stephen McDonell learned, in this interview which reminds us what tough questioning sounds like, that she was part of a plan by congress organisers to rig question-and-answer sessions, during which Yu put forward pretty weak questions that had been pre-approved.
Yu's employer, it turns out, is the previously unheard-of Global CAMG Media International, which McDonnell also notes
is actually majority-owned from China. CAMG has close links to Chinese government-controlled media organisations and supplies Beijing-friendly radio programmes to community stations in Australia.
Yu does a good job of standing up to McDonnell's questions, agreeing with him that her role there wasn't to advance "real journalism" of any kind, adding that she's only been with the company for a month and that this isn't the kind of journalism work she wants to be doing.
Also, listen to Australian broadcaster ABC's interview with Andrea Yu aired on Nov. 14.
China often gets plugged as a good place for young professionals to come and gain some work experience, which for (presumably) aspiring journalists that more often than not means time in a job like Yu's. So, will Andrea have the last word?
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