Saturday, August 2, 2008

August 3rd edition of Forward Forum

By: John Quinlan

This is John Quinlan. Please join me, my co-host Harry Waisbren, and producer Stephanie Woods for the week's Forward Forum.

On the eve of the Beijing Olympic Games, we'll be joined by an author Judy Polumbaum, describing her thought-provoking new book, "China Ink: The Changing Face of Chinese Journalism," based on interviews with 20 young Chinese journalists.

We begin our program at 7pm with a potpourri of the week's events, including a preview of this Tuesday's South Madison "National Night Out." Neighborhood leader Leslie McAllister joins us to describe this important statement of neighborhood pride and solidarity for a part of Madison plagued by recent violent incidents in the midst what most of the rest of the city may not realize is a close-knit mutually-supportive community. See details below.

Judy joins us at 8pm on the phone from the University of Iowa at Iowa City, where she is an affiliated faculty member in a number of international and interdisciplinary programs and centers at Iowa, including the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies and International Studies.< face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"> Her research has focused on journalism and media in mainland China. She did her undergraduate work in East Asian studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada and has a master’s from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a doctorate in communication from Stanford University. She’s worked as a newspaper reporter in Vermont, California and Oregon, and also has worked for English-language news organizations in China. She joined the University of Iowa faculty in 1989.

Recent news describes a China not quite willing to open itself as completely as promised to outside eyes, as news spreads of selective Internet site blackouts and other examples of censorship. And yet Judy's book also describes a surprisingly robust new journalistic tradition in China, especially among younger journalists. Is this is a sign of things to come, or will these new freedoms be curtailed--and, in a world where the frontiers of Internet and press freedoms have implications for us all, what are the consequences for the rest of the world?

As James Fallows of the Atlantic Monthly writes: "Journalists in China have the headaches shared by their counterparts around the world--plus their own unique set of challenges... In response some journalists become complete cynics, and some are just careerists. But a surprising and admirable number keep looking for ways to expand what the Chinese public can know about its own country and the outside world. China Ink is a fascinating window onto the environment in which these reporters operate. Among the book's most striking revelations is the wide variety of personalities, tactics, values, and aspirations with which China's journalists approach their task."

As usual, this was a busy week in Madison. Also in our 7 pm hour, we be revisiting Madisonian Ben Skinner's visit to Madison Rotary on Wednesday, where he gave a compelling talk about his book "A Crime So Monstrous, Face-to-Face with Modern Slavery." And we'll be engaged in a discussion arising out of this week's Nonstop Radio Conference about the past and future face of radio. And as part of an inspiring and forward-looking ongoing project he's leading, co-host Harry Waisbren will also tell us about his ongoing efforts to bridge national progressive groups, campus activism, and activist-produced television.

As always, we welcome your participation in our conversation. Please call us at 321-1670 locally, * 123 for US Cellular users or 1-877-867-1670 toll free from elsewhere in the US. We stream live and podcast at Show website: Show blog:

A Special Thanks to accomplished longtime community activist Dan Guerra, who joined me as a presenter on the intersections between Activism and Progressive Talk Radio yesterday at the Nonstop Radio Conference.

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