Reporters from the People’s Daily are standing out from the crowd among the more than 3,000 journalists covering China’s parliamentary sessions thanks to Google Glass.
The Communist Party mouthpiece has bought one of Google’s new hi-tech gadgets for their journalists covering the National People’s Congress.
Qiao Xuefeng, a reporter with the paper, said he and his colleagues took turns to use the gadget.
“It is mainly used to take pictures. And we can send the pictures back to the office immediately,” he said. “We are testing how we can use new technology in reporting at the NPC.”
Qiao said the gadget made his job easier, but they had to reconfigure it to enable it to connect with the internet.
“Chinese internet sim cards cannot be used with Google Glass,” he said. “So we have to connect using a mobile phone.”
The cost of the gadget on the mainland black market has reached almost 60,000 yuan (HK$75,958), but Qiao said he had no idea about how much the People’s Daily had paid.
Other mainland journalists said they also wanted Google Glass, but questioned whether the gadget could help their reporting because many of its internet-based services, such as Gmail, were not stable due to Chinese government internet censorship.
One mainland journalist said he felt it was ironic that the government used Google’s most advanced product but blocked many of its services.
But Huang Tao, a reporter with China News Service, said it was good for journalists to experiment with new technology.
“It is a convenient tool for taking photos, especially in venues as crowded as the Great Hall of the People,” he said.