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China-US relations

US-China group honours South China Morning Post’s global media leadership

  • Post’s news teams ‘creating innovative ways to tell Asia’s most important and compelling stories’
  • Award encourages us in our mission to lead the global conversation about China: Editor-in-Chief
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 December, 2018, 12:51pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 December, 2018, 11:28pm

The South China Morning Post was awarded the Global Media Leadership Award on Wednesday by the Washington-based US-China Policy Foundation (USCPF), a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the furthering of understanding between the two countries’ peoples and governments.

With its growing body of correspondents across Asia and the US, “the South China Morning Post is no longer just a newspaper published daily, but a provider of news content 24/7,” former US ambassador to China Gary Locke said.

Acknowledging the Post’s mission to elevate thought and lead the global conversation about China, Locke, who presented Wednesday’s award to Post Editor-in-Chief Tammy Tam and Executive Editor Chow Chung-yan at the USCPF’s 2018 gala dinner, said its news teams “are creating innovative ways to tell Asia’s most important and compelling stories”.

Attended by current and former diplomats from both sides of the Pacific, members of Congress and business representatives, Wednesday’s gala was convened in Washington’s historic Mayflower hotel, known for being home to China’s US liaison operations in 1973 at a time when the two countries had not yet established diplomatic relations.

Editor-in-Chief Tammy Tam celebrates South China Morning Post’s achievements in past 115 years and outlines its mission for future

Collecting the award, Tam said the honour “affirms and encourages us to push on with our mission to lead the global conversation about China”.

“We people in the media industry have the power to help people hear and understand the stories of those who are different from them,” said Tam, “thereby enhancing mutual understanding across personal, cultural, political and economic barriers”.

In written remarks circulated at Wednesday’s gala, former secretary of state Henry Kissinger said it had never been more important that “mutually constructive relations and friendships between our two countries and their people” be fostered and encouraged.

The New York-based Starr Foundation, which has funded more than US$310 million in grants related to China and US-China relations, was also honoured by the USCPF with the Philanthropic Excellence Award.

Chi Wang, president of the USCPF, said after the gala that he had been reading the Post since 1941, but was particularly appreciative of its coverage of US-China relations over the past decade.

“It’s not just a one-sided story,” said Wang, who was the head of the Chinese section at the US Library of Congress and once served as a consultant on US-China trade issues for the Carter administration. The Post is “very fair and reports everything: good news, bad news, cheerful news, and sad news”, he said.

In recognition of the impact of the complex and at-times adversarial US-China relationship, on not only both countries but also the rest of the world, the Post has recently devoted increased resources to its North American operations.

In April 2017, the newspaper opened its first US bureau in New York, followed shortly by another outpost in Washington. This year, the US became the Post’s single largest market in terms of readership.

Digital, international growth are the way forward as South China Morning Post weathers shifting media landscape

Recent coverage of the many dimensions of US-China relations includes exclusives on high-level diplomatic snubs, scoops about cross-border business acquisitions, features on Chinese communities in the US, and deep dives into Washington’s attempts to offer a counter to China’s model of globalisation.

Meanwhile, the Post’s comment and opinion section also serves as a quality platform for high-level debates on China-US relations, as well as other major issues at home and abroad.

More recently, the Post sent reporters to cover the G20 summit in Buenos Aires and the pivotal meeting between the US and Chinese presidents.

“There is always more than one perspective to a story,” Tam said, adding that the Post’s 115-year history had been characterised by a desire to facilitate and educate conversations about subjects where there were disagreements.

“We’re doing a disservice to our readers if we tell them what they want to hear or what we want them to hear,” she said.