China Reporting: An Oral History of American Journalism in the 1930s and 1940s

Stephen R. MacKinnon, Author University of California Press $0 (230p) ISBN 978-0-520-05843-9
In 1982, a group of reporters and diplomats who had been in China between 1930 and 1950 met in Scottsdale, Ariz., to discuss press coverage of events in those years. Among them were John Hersey, John Fairbank and Annalee Jacoby Fadiman. These excerpts from the conference transcript suggest that those attending generally praised what they perceived to be their objectivity and ability to overcome censorship. MacKinnon, who teaches at Arizona State, and Friesen, an engineer, are less laudatory, pointing out that the inability of most Americans in China during that crucial period to speak the language rendered them incapable of discerning popular sentiment. Still, as the authors note, journalism is the first draft of history, and they suggest that those reporting from China did, in the words of a conference participant, ""a pretty goddamn good job.'' (September)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Paperback - 200 pages - 978-0-520-06967-1
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