This course gives us a chance to examine how news breaks and is reported inside China and in its diaspora, the Greater China of Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau, and Taiwan for exmaple, and in Chinese communities in the US.San Francisco has a big one which is very handy for this class.

We will examine as well how Western news media cover events in those places. The events can occur within China and those communities or can involve relations with other countries. Good examples are the variety of responses when American planes struck the Chinese embassy in Belgrade and when the American spy planes was forced down over Hainan island.

What we should learn is how to evaluate news stories on the radio, television, and the print media, looking for bias, point of view, mis- or disinformation, and factual error. Comparing the main wire services, Chinese and Western, is part of this evaluation. The best way to do this is to accompany our examination with regular writing of news stories or of commentaries on them. We will do plenty of these, either individually or in teams. The class will operate too as an editorial meeting, suggesting stories to be written for the next session.

As soon as a story is written it should be e-mailed to each member of the class so we can comment on them in writing and in the next class. I will be writing along with you. In the first two weeks there will be plenty of reading on China, the diaspora, and on how reporting works by local reporters and foreign correspondent. Books and articles will be on reserve in the library.