September 11, 2001, through a child’s eyes

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Remembering September 11, 2001

All of us have vivid memories of where we were when we found out about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. I was three blocks from the White House having breakfast with a group of reporters and three of Bill Clinton’s top political advisers. The following memory comes from my niece Delia’s boyfriend Jake. It is wiser than anything I could write:

Sixteen years ago, I watched from my elementary school window as smoke shot out of the twin towers and a second plane collided with the buildings. At that age, 7, almost 8, I couldn’t comprehend what was happening. I honestly believed it to be a super high budget movie. The wind blew debris over my school, as my classmates and I ran around the yard collecting scraps in childlike glee.

They took us inside and turned on the news as parents arived to bring their children home, and my friends and I played and laughed, ignorant in the happenings of our city.

My dad arrived and brought me home. A look of pure stress on his face, but I still sat smiling at a day of school ending earlier than usual.

As I’ve aged, my understanding grew quickly, and now every year I remember what it was like to be carefree and ignorant, before a great tragedy took countless lives from this earth.

This world is in turmoil. Take today to remember what what the world looked like before you knew its truth, and know the truth can become the peaceful world of a child’s thoughts if we stop the hate and remember to love.


Best practices in multimedia journalism: NY Times video on ‘Dreamers’

As a professor of multimedia journalism, I tell my students about the importance of clear, concise storytelling — in whatever medium they choose. The New York Times has been leading the news industry in its use of multimedia platforms, from data visualization to videos that complement text stories.

This September 5, 2017, video was posted in the immediate aftermath of the Trump administration’s decision to end the so-called “DACA” program that protected children brought illegally into the United States from the threat of immediate deportation. Look at its production qualities. People speaking into the camera, stating their personal stories. The camera is the storyteller. There is a minimum of text on the screens. The storytelling is spare. And powerful.

Take a look.

https://static01.nyt.com/video/players/offsite/index.html?videoId=100000005403642


A Fourth of July analysis of Donald Trump’s first six months in power

RickTrumpJuly4

What is America’s place in the world on the first July 4 of the Trump administration?

As a regular analyst of American politics, policy and economics, I am often asked to explain Donald Trump to global audiences. Here is my Fourth of July segment on World Insight with Tian Wei:


Truth matters: A commencement address to Global Business Journalism Program graduates

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Here is the text of my address to the 2017 graduating class of the Global Business Journalism Program at Tsinghua University on June 28, 2017.

大家好。Добрый день. Benvenuti. Welcome.

I am honored, on behalf of the International Center for Journalists and the international faculty of the Global Business Journalism Program, to congratulate all of you on your successful completion of your graduate studies.

You are a special group – the best young business journalism minds in China, along with a unique mixture of nations: Iran, Israel, Italy, Vietnam, Thailand, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Slovakia, Turkey, Russia, Canada, and the United States. Some of you already have made a mark on the world of business journalism during your Tsinghua years. I have great confidence that many more of you will have an impact in the years to come, in journalism systems as disparate as Iran, the United States and China.

All of us in this room have our differences – cultural, geographical, even political – but one thing that unites us is the search for truth. As Jim Asher, a 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner for his role in the Panama Papers investigation, said recently: “A world without facts can’t function.”

We live in an unsettling era when the concept of “truth” can be a matter of dispute. Kellyanne Conway, a counselor to Donald Trump, has declared that the White House is entitled to its own “alternative facts.” Whatever that means.

To the graduating class of 2017 and your proud professors, that’s just plain nonsense. We owe it to the public, whether we operate in the United States, China, or anywhere around the world, to share the truth, as best as we can tell it, and to explain what the truth means to our audience. As the 2017 National Press Club president, Jeffrey Ballou, said to fellow American journalists in Akron, Ohio: “Truth is not a game at all.”

The esteemed Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky, in Братья Карамазовы, The Brothers Karamazov, summed up the predicament of the perpetual prevaricator. “The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie,” he wrote, “comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others.”

We must respect knowledge, respect truth, and respect ourselves. We owe it to the global public to use the knowledge we have gained about China and about global economics to provide our audiences with intelligent, insightful and factual reports. With your newfound expertise on the Chinese economy, globalization, corporate strategies and much more, you can communicate clearly and comprehensively, on any multimedia platform, about issues ranging from the Paris climate change accords to the Belt and Road Initiative.

One of my favorite philosophers, Nelson Mandela, said that “a good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.”

You have something very special – tools that you can use to make the world a more informed and a more just place. Because, as our dean, Liu Binjie, said in his speech welcoming many of you to the Tsinghua School of Journalism and Communication in September 2016, “Justice is the soul of the news.”

Barbara Cochran, my successor as president of the National Press Club Journalism Institute in Washington, reminds us that truth is an imperfect pursuit, and journalists are imperfect people. “All news organizations make mistakes from time to time,” she said recently, “but they are trying to tell the truth and generally do it well.”

Truth and justice. The Global Business Journalism program has been trying to live up to the highest international standards for the past 10 years. Since 2007, the GBJ program has combined rigorous academics with practical journalism training in a cross-cultural setting at one of the world’s great universities.

Thanks to the vision of brilliant minds such as Professor Li Xiguang, ICFJ president Joyce Barnathan, and ICFJ vice president Vjollca Shtylla, the GBJ program was created. Thanks to the financial and journalistic support of Bloomberg News, ICFJ, the Knight Foundation and Bank of America, it has grown and prospered. Thanks to the commitment of Tsinghua leaders like Dr. Hang Min, Dean Shi, Dean Chen, Dean Hu, Professor Lee Miller, Professor Dai Jia, and many more, it has a bright future. Thanks to dedicated and high-achieving alumni from some 60 countries, GBJ is improving the quality of journalism – and public understanding of economic issues — in China and around the world.

I close by quoting my favorite philosopher, my grandfather, Barrows Dunham. In his 1947 book Man Against Myth, he concluded that understanding the truth was necessary to overcome society’s myths. “With words, as with knowledge generally,” my grandfather wrote, “there can be no substitute for constant analysis of fact.”

Truth. Justice. Words. Knowledge. Tsinghua. That pretty much sums it up. Congratulations on your achievements in the Global Business Journalism Program. I look forward to your truth-telling in the years to come.

谢谢。Thank you.


Gain a global perspective as you improve your journalism skills with the USA Summer Journalism Training Program

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The Global Business Journalism Program is already one of the most prestigious business journalism master’s degree programs in the world. The partnership between the U.S.-based International Center for Journalists and Tsinghua University has produced more than 400 graduates from China and around the globe who are bringing advanced technological skills and business reporting expertise to news sites around the world.

This summer, GBJ’s co-director, Rick Dunham, a veteran of 29 years in Washington journalism, will launch a new initiative, the USA Summer Journalism Training Program in Washington, designed to train aspiring journalists from around the world in global best practices. The two-week program is scheduled to run from July 24 to August 4. Sessions will be held at the International Center for Journalists and other venues in Washington.

The USA Summer Journalism Training Program includes more than a dozen training sessions and workshops, hands-on reporting exercises, and tours of news organizations, as well as Washington-area sightseeing and special social activities. Guest speakers will include prominent Washington journalists, academics and policymakers.

The program is open to all university students and 2017 graduates. Thanks to a generous contribution from a supporter of the program, Tsinghua School of Journalism and Communication students will receive a $500 scholarship to defray a portion of the program fee. Tsinghua students who also participate in the City University of New York Summer Intensive Program in July will receive a $750 scholarship.

To guarantee personal attention, the program is limited to 25 participants.

Professor Dunham is a former White House correspondent for Business Week magazine, editor of the magazine’s Washington Outlook page, Washington bureau chief of the Houston Chronicle and Hearst Newspapers, creator of the Texas on the Potomac blog, 2005 president of the National Press Club, and creator of RickDunhamBlog.com. He is a visiting professor at Tsinghua University, where he teaches multimedia reporting, data journalism storytelling, English news writing and U.S. media culture.

The deadline for applications is May 31. Click here for the program application.

If you have questions, please contact USA Summer Journalism Training Program at SummerProgramDC@gmail.com. You can reach teaching assistant Li Chengzhang at licz15@mails.tsinghua.edu.cn,  (Note: Tsinghua University is not involved in this program, its curriculum or management.)

Here is additional information on the program, in English and Chinese:

项目时间:2017年7月(注:项目时间与CUNY暑期项目不冲突)

项目时长:两周

地点:美国,华盛顿DC,美国记者俱乐部

结业证书:由美国记者协会(ICFJ)颁发

招收对象:在校大学生

Time:July 24-August 4, 2017 (Note: The timing of this program is designed to encourage students to also participate in the Summer Intensive Program at the City University of New York.)

Period: Two weeks

Place: USA, Washington, D.C., The International Center for Journalists and other locations

Completed certificate: From ICFJ, the leading training organization for journalists around the world

Eligibility: Participants must be university students or 2017 graduates

  • 夏令营项目形式:

业界导师授课、嘉宾讲座、研讨会、参观游览及娱乐活动

  • Program contents: Journalism training sessions and workshops, hands-on reporting exercises, tours of news organizations, Washington-area sightseeing, social activities
  • 课程内容:

多媒体全方位新闻技能培训

包括:采访技巧、如何讲好新闻故事、突发新闻报道、国际新闻报道、多媒体新闻报道、财经新闻写作技巧、华盛顿邮报案例研究、新闻从业者入行需知等版块

  • Journalism training courses

Program contents: Multimedia storytelling, advanced reporting, writing and editing seminars, interview tips, sharpening your business and economic journalism skills, tips for foreign correspondents and data journalism skills training

  • 讲座和研讨会内容:

资深记者分享新闻报道和从业经验,并与行业专家及政府议员探讨全球公共政策问题。

包括:移民问题、贸易问题、能源问题、双边关系、经济与政治相互作用关系等议题。

  • Lectures, sessions and workshops

Program contents: Hear from prominent journalists, academics, think tank representatives and policymakers. Training in journalism skills and policy issues important to a global audience

实践内容:

个人采访作业、小组采访作业

包括:新闻稿件、新闻图片、新闻音频和视频等。同学们通过街头采访的实践机会深入了解和体验美国。

  • Practice:

Individual journalism assignments, group journalism assignments

Program contents: You will work with veteran American journalists to improve your news article writing, news photography, video and audio skills. Students will get to know America and American life better via interviewing local people and policymakers by themselves.

  • 参观游览活动:

(1)参观媒体机构

包括:美国记者俱乐部、美国新闻博物馆、华盛顿邮报报社、彭博新闻社等。

(2)参观历史遗迹

包括:美国国会大厦、林肯纪念堂、杰斐逊纪念堂、马丁·路德·金纪念碑、华盛顿故居、林肯故居、二战纪念碑、朝鲜战争和越南战争纪念碑等。

(注:以上参观游览目的地为可选范围,具体参观游览路线将会视同学们的兴趣而定。负责该项目的美国教授和助教将会带领大家一起出行集体参观游览。)

  • Sightseeing

(1) Media organizations

Planned tours include the National Press Club and the Newseum. Additional visits may include the Washington Post, Bloomberg News and Politico

(2) Historical sites

Visits to selected historical sites including the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, the Martin Luther King Memorial, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, the Albert Einstein Statue, the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Memorial and the Vietnam War Memorial.

(Note: Students can select their preferred sightseeing destinations from above options, specific tour routes will depend on the students’ interests. Our professor and teaching assistant will lead the collective tour.)

  • 娱乐活动:

由Rick Dunham教授主持举办“Texas barbecue”野餐会

在美国记者俱乐部举办周五“Taco Night”活动

  • Social activities

Opening “Texas barbecue” cookout hosted by Professor Rick Dunham in Arlington, Virginia

Friday “Taco Night” reception at the National Press Club

Special event with National Press Club Young Members

Happy Hour with Asian American Journalists Association DC Chapter members

  • 师资力量:
  • Possible guest speakers:

Rick Dunham:清华大学全球财经新闻联合主任、美国记者俱乐部培训学院院长、《商业周刊》原驻白宫记者

Alex Nowrasteh: 美国卡托研究所经济学家

Al Weaver:《华盛顿审察者报》驻白宫记者

Cheryl Arvidson:前《达拉斯时代先驱报》总编辑

Cragg Hines:前《休斯顿纪事报》华盛顿分社总编辑、专栏作家

Emily Holden:E&E新闻机构记者

Doris Truong:《华盛顿邮报》记者

Doug Wong:《华盛顿邮报》记者

Gilbert Klein:美国大学新闻教授、前美国记者俱乐部主席

Doug Harbrecht:Kiplinger.com数字媒体总监

Angela Greiling Keane:《政客》编辑

Alan Bjerga:彭博新闻社农业报道记者、乔治城大学新闻教授

Jonathan Salant: 北新泽西州报纸驻华盛顿记者

Maria Recio: Washington journalist and former correspondent for Business Week, Knight Ridder Newspapers and McClatchy Newspapers

Mark Hamrick: Bankrate.com Washington bureau chief and former National Press Club president

Emily Wilkins: Education reporter, Roll Call

 

  • 费用:

项目费:1500美元

住宿费:600-750美元(由项目方提供统一住宿)

  • Estimated costs:

Fees   $1,500*

Housing (estimated, double occupancy)  $600-$750

Note: Global Business Journalism students and other Tsinghua School of Journalism and Communication students are eligible for a scholarship to cover $500 of the costs, making their final fee $1,000.

Note: GBJ and other TSJC students who also enroll in the City University of New York Summer Intensive program are eligible for a scholarship to cover $750 of their costs, making their final fee $750.

Note: Visa fee, transportation, travel, meals, insurance are not included.

Note: Housing will be available from Sunday, July 23, to Saturday, August 5.

A completed application does not guarantee acceptance. To guarantee personal attention, the program will have a maximum of 25 participants. Admission is at the discretion of program organizers.

>>> Application form for the USA Summer Journalism Training Program

>>> Questions? Contact the USA Summer Journalism Training Program by email

>>> More information on CUNY Summer Intensive program

>>> Learn more about the Global Business Journalism Program at Tsinghua University

 


Application for the USA Summer Journalism Training Program

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Thank you for your interest in the USA Summer Journalism Training Program, organized by Rick Dunham, a veteran of 29 years of Washington journalism experience and co-director of the International Center for Journalists’ Global Business Journalism Program. The two-week program is scheduled to be held in Washington, D.C., from July 24 to August 4, 2017, and is open to university students and recent graduates from China and around the world.

The application form is included in this post. Please copy-and-paste the form and send it via email to the USA Summer Journalism Training Program at SummerProgramDC@gmail.com. You can reach teaching assistant Li Chengzhang at licz15@mails.tsinghua.edu.cn.

  •  Application deadline: May 31

海外学习短期项目

美国新闻报道夏令营项目申请表

Application form

姓名 Name 国籍 Nationality
生源地 Birthplace
本/硕/博 Bachelor’s/Master’s/Ph.D. 出生年月 Date of birth
在读学校 University 专业 Major
联系电话 Phone number 邮箱 Email
是否定向/委培 外语水平(种类及成绩) English language certificate
拟毕业时间 When will you (did you) graduate from your university program?
申请理由:

Please explain the reason why you want to apply to this program:

注:请将报名表、个人简历、学生证、外语水平证书的电子版发送至助教邮箱。如有任何疑问,欢迎随时联系助教。邮箱:SummerProgramDC@gmail.com or licz15@mails.tsinghua.edu.cn 电话:+86 13426000951 或 +1(312)468-3257

Note: Please send your application form, CV, English language certificate copy and a photo of your student ID card to SummerProgramDC@gmail.com. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Teaching Assistant Li Chengzhang at licz15@mails.tsinghua.edu.cn. By telephone: +86 13426000951, +1 (312) 468-3257.

  • 费用:

项目费:1500美元

住宿费:600-750美元(由项目方提供统一住宿)

  • Estimated costs:

Fees   $1,500*

Housing (estimated, double occupancy)  $600-$750

Note: Global Business Journalism students and Tsinghua School of Journalism and Communication students are eligible for a scholarship to cover $500 of the costs, making their final fee $1,000.

Note: GBJ and TSJC students who also enroll in the City University of New York Summer Intensive program are eligible for a scholarship to cover $750 of their costs, making their final fee $750.

Note: Visa fee, transportation, travel, meals, insurance are not included.

Note: Housing will be available from Sunday, July 23, to Saturday, August 5.

A completed application does not guarantee acceptance. To guarantee personal attention, the program will have a maximum of 25 participants. Admission is at the discretion of program organizers.

>>> More information on the Global Business Journalism Program

>> More information on the USA Summer Journalism Training Program

>>> Questions? Contact the USA Summer Journalism Training Program by email

>>> More information on CUNY Summer Intensive program


Trump, Putin and journalism in the post-truth world: A philosophical dialogue

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My conversation with Matti Virtanen, as it appeared online in Finnish.

During my latest speaking tour of Finland, I’ve been discussing the policy implications of the Trump presidency with business leaders, university students and business school alumni. But I’ve also had the chance to talk to some of the top editors in Finland about the ethical and journalistic challenges facing American reporters trying to cover a very different kind of president.Screen Shot 2017-03-11 at 1.20.05 PM

Here is my conversation with Matti Virtanen, a veteran journalist with Talouselämä. Click here to read his article in Finnish.

Q: If you look at Trump’s communications as a whole, what do you think is the main difference between his and a professional politician’s rhetoric?

A: Trump’s rhetoric is more colorful and less “politically correct” than an average politician. He seems to enjoy being incendiary and provocative. He never fears the consequences of his own words.

Q: Much of political discourse is full of exaggerations and embellishments, and statements that are meaningless or “not even wrong.” Where do you draw the line that differentiates all this from lying?

A: Lying is intentionally or knowingly saying something that is untrue. It is the same as the distinction between a killing and a murder. Murder is killing with malicious intent. Lying is telling falsehoods or untruths with malicious intent. Saying that 3 million “illegal aliens” voted — and all voted for Hillary Clinton — is untrue. Once you are told it’s not true and you keep saying it, it’s a lie. (Or if you knew it was untrue when you first said it, it’s a lie.) The difference between Trump and typical politicians is that Trump’s supporters do not hold him accountable for not telling the truth. Average supporters and his advisers will lecture the press, saying you are “taking him too literally.” It’s dangerous territory for the media and for politicians when the truth is a philosophical concept and not an objective reality.

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Talking Trump in Finland.

Q: What are the most obvious lies that Trump has expressed in office? (Three examples will do, let’s forget the campaign lies for now.)

He falsely stated, over and over, that he had the biggest Electoral College landslide with Ronald Reagan, when, in reality, Barack Obama (twice), Bill Clinton (twice) and George H.W. Bush all had more. He stated without evidence that Obama tapped his phones in Trump Tower, something flatly denied by the FBI and the former Director of National Intelligence. He claimed, without offering evidence, that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote only because 3 million illegal immigrants voted for her. He said she won New Hampshire because of “massive” voter fraud. Elections officials in the states he mentioned all denied his claims, which he has repeated over and over since then. Also, he said more than 100 former Guantanamo Bay prisoners were released by Obama and have returned to the battlefield. (All but nine were released by Bush.)

Q: How is the system equipped to counter lies from the White House?

A: The media ecosystem is not set up to deal with serial lies from public officials, or, as Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway called them, “alternative facts.” Trump’s strange relationship with the truth has left reporters in an uncomfortable position: report his claims factually, as you would with most public officials, and become part of a disinformation or propaganda campaign — or state that the president of the United States did not tell the truth, which makes many Americans believe that you are taking political sides and are part of “the opposition” to Trump, as Trump aide Steve Bannon puts it.

Q: Why is he getting away with lies better than his predecessors, who were also not quite immune to the syndrome?

A: Many of Trump’s supporters say it is just “Trump being Trump.” They think it is refreshing to have a “politically incorrect” president. Some find it entertaining to see the establishment ridiculed. Thus far, none of the falsehoods seem to have harmed Trump’s public standing. His approval rate has changed relatively little since it dipped during his first week in office, despite a barrage of reporting on false statements from the president.

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Speaking at an AmCham Finland “Brief on the Go” in Helsinki.

Q: What is the threshold that would trigger a formal, legal investigation of the president’s lying?

A: Either a Democratic-controlled Congress (in two years at the earliest) or a lie on a sensitive national security subject, such as his relationship with the Kremlin or possible blackmailing of him by Vladimir Putin or Russian intelligence.

Q: How long can the Republican Party remain united in defense of presidential lying?

A: Party leaders are following their followers. As long as Trump’s support among rank-and-file Republicans remains above 80 percent, as it has been since he assumed office, Republican elected officials will be cautious in they criticism. Some Republican elected officials have dismissed some of Trump’s statements as incorrect (such as his allegations of voter fraud or his claims about wiretapping), but they have not broken with Trump politically. As long as Republican voters do not abandon Trump, he will maintain a base of power in Congress.

Q: How likely is it that we are going to see an impeachment process against Trump?

A: It won’t happen as long as the Republicans control Congress — unless there is evidence that he sold out the United States to Russia for business purposes or under threat of blackmail. There is no evidence of that now. Short of that, it won’t happen in the next two years. I think it would be a mistake for Democrats, should they take control of Congress in 2019, to immediately initiate impeachment proceedings. It would look like crass politics. It would be smarter to have oversight hearings and see where the evidence leads.

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Q&A in Helsinki

Q: What if the Department of Justice refuses to appoint a special prosecutor? Does the Congress have any way around that?

A: Excellent question. Congress can’t appoint a special prosecutor, but it can create a bipartisan investigating committee or empower an independent, bipartisan commission. I think the commission approach is the most likely. It will be less inflammatory and more likely to get at the truth, quietly and over a longer period of time.

Q: How would you rate Trump’s lying if you compare it with the untruths from Russian and Chinese governments?

A: Trump’s relationship to the truth is similar to Putin’s. They both say things that are demonstrably untrue. With the Chinese government, there is a lot of “partisan spin,” but rarely does the government say things that can be easily contradicted. One way or another, an American president doesn’t want to be compared to Putin or other authoritarian regimes when it comes to credibility.

Q: What about the personal level: how do you feel about the situation?

A: I feel that it’s a tough time to be a reporter. You must have a thick skin and be willing to be bullied and threatened. Thus far, no harm has come to an American reporter, but many of my former colleagues have been subjected to online harassment and even phone calls at their homes. The old rules of fairness apply to our reporting, even if the norms of truthfulness are shifting. Reporters have to adjust if they want to maintain their integrity and shed light on the words and deeds of public officials.

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Pay no attention to the man behind the podium.