An Australian foreign correspondent in China: In conversation with Kirsty Needham
February 20 2020
As the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has transformed, so too has the environment for foreign correspondents operating in-country. And as controls on information availability tighten and censorship increases, reporting by foreign journalists becomes more challenging – and more important.
What is an Australian correspondent’s evaluation of how the PRC has changed both domestically and in its outward projection in recent years? What pressures does an Australian journalist come under when striving to report the news fearlessly and without favour, from the Chinese Communist Party and other interest groups? What are the challenges in garnering the support and interest of Australia-based editors and the news-consuming public when it comes to developments in the PRC?
The Australia-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS:ACRI) hosted an in-depth discussion on these questions and more with Kirsty Needham, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age’s recent China correspondent. Based in Beijing for three years, she covered developments in mainland China, Hong Kong, and North Korea.
About the speaker:
Kirsty Needham has been a journalist with The Sydney Morning Herald for 23 years. She has twice been a Walkley's finalist for her writing on China.
Prior to moving to Beijing in 2017, she spent eight years covering state and federal politics in the NSW and Canberra press galleries. She has also held the positions of technology editor and deputy foreign editor.
Her 2007 book on China, A Season in Red, was published by Allen & Unwin.
In 2004 she undertook an Asialink fellowship in Beijing through the Australia-China Council.
Ms Needham studied journalism and politics at UTS.