Author Profile: Kelly West
Traveling the China road in search of stories to explain a beat as big and complex as the People’s Republic can’t help but impress a group of reporters with the country’s marvelously varied visual resources. Every pile of bricks stacked outside a construction site, every flash of conspicuous consumption, every farmer who says that a hard life is less hard than it used to be attests to the fact that China is undergoing a remarkable transformation from the grassroots up. That process is inescapably reflected in the country’s rich menu of images – by turns gritty and elegant, stodgy and sweeping, indelibly grim and endlessly uplifting, uptempo and sophisticated. Our reporters, photojournalists and multimedia-istas found such to be the case in the big cities as well as the outlying rural communities. Herewith the Reporting China team offers a selection of photos chronicling our journey from Beijing to Xi’an and Shanghai. . . .
At a briefing at the Fudan University School of Journalism, a professor of new media told us, “China is a bag of paradoxes. Its so full of contradictions.” During my four weeks of exploring this country in the midst of its massive transition, I have discovered that China is more complicated than I ever imagined, and less predictable than any place I’ve seen. For every stereotype the country lives up to, a conflicting alter-ego view exists as well – just waiting to challenge any Westerner who dares to proclaim,”Now I …
Reporting China students offer a collection of photos chronicling early impressions from their journey through the People’s Republic.
Many great questions have been pondered throughout Chinese history. On a hot June day in 2009, four brave women dared to ask: “Where is the toboggan?” Their quest was part of this year’s Reporting China assault on the Great Wall of China and a special mission to search out a toboggan ride discovered by the 2008 Reporting China team that provides travelers the option of a little mechanical help in getting up to and down from the battlements, with a few thrills and chills thrown in for good measure. Join them now to see how they fared.
When I arrived in China, I expected to meet people sporting red armbands and green hats, like icons from a 1950s propaganda poster. So when I began seeing young people in Beijing that broke this mold – Mohawk-sporting musicians, tattooed skateboarders, extreme-sport enthusiasts – it seemed more significant than what this same behavior might mean back home. Thus the question: In a country that has put so much stock in conformity, do new forms of self-expression represent small but meaningful forms of rebellion?
The screeching from the birdcages dangling in the trees made it difficult to carry on a conversation.
Well, here it is. My first blog post on our class Web site. I think this trip to China will be full of firsts for me. Its my first time traveling to Asia, and certainly my first time trying to cover stories in a foreign country. I expect the experience to be challenging, and I’m a little intimidated at the prospect of trying to produce journalistically worthy projects in a place that is so outside of my comfort zone. But I’m really looking forward to the trip, and to (hopefully) …
My family arrives today!” said Ye Huabin, as he served customers at his gourmet tea shop behind Beijing’s Forbidden City. As he talked about his wife and two children who were traveling by train from Fujian Province southeastern China, Ye poured steaming cups of fragrant tea with the dexterity of a shell-game artist.
It’s been a year since a UT student introduced Ye’s story to our Reporting China audience – his entrepreneur’s zeal for selling upscale teas to the city’s nouveau riche as well as his painful decision to trek from his home in southeastern China. . . .