新闻人:真相与生命

2017年1月20日正午,唐纳德·特朗普在国会大厦的台阶上宣誓成为美国第45任总统。

今天,他执政满一年。不论是否实现竞选时的“Make America Great Again”口号还是当选后的“美国优先”政策,支持的人说他政绩累累,反对的人说他一事无成。

这里,我无权评论他的外交内政,只说说我看到的新闻人和事儿。

一年前的今天,我有幸在美国首都华盛顿哥伦比亚区做报道。新闻研究生项目刚读了一半,就见证了美国总统交接的风云变幻。

就职当天,热闹的不仅是连接白宫与国会的宾夕法尼亚大道,还有华盛顿和全球20多个城市的大街小巷。

2017年1月20日,华盛顿警察与示威游行者

场内,戴着红色领带的特朗普左手放在圣经上,举起右手庄严宣誓,将忠实执行合众国总统的职务。

场外,抗议者高举标语,大声呼喊口号,他们冲破警察围成的人墙,闪光弹和辣椒喷雾在街上肆意。

就职典礼结束后,我在西北大学华盛顿新闻工作室梳理上午拍摄的示威情况。突然有消息说在离我们三个街区的地方,有人当街投掷闪光弹,场面混乱。

新闻记者大多是天生的冒险家,有强大的好奇心驱使着他们向危险进发、探索真相。

于是有了上面这一条“新闻”短片。


事实是,当我听到闪光弹响的那一刻,内心只有一个想法:

我想跑。

只在战争片里看到过的场景,就真真切切的在离自己不到50米的地方发生。

我想尽快逃离眼前的不安全因素。

但是,我看到这样一群人,他们站在手持闪光弹的抗议者一臂之遥的地方,只为抓拍烟雾腾空的瞬间;他们走在示威队伍中被推搡却仍高举摄像机,只为拍到行进队伍的场面。

自从特朗普开始他的总统竞选之路,大大小小的游行我也去了不少。却被当天的景象震慑住了。

匈牙利摄影记者罗伯特·卡帕(Robert Capa)曾说:

“战地记者手中的赌注就是自己的性命,如果你的照片拍得不够好,那是因为离炮火不够近。”

我在上电视新闻和纪录片的课上,也听到了相似的内容:你只有离新闻源越近,内容才会越真实,越能打动人。

记者的职责有很多,之一便是在危急时刻作为“逆行者”赶赴现场,为公众带来最新资讯。尤其是摄影和视频记者,近距离触摸危险采到的素材更能让观众身临其境。

但是卡帕在越南采访第一次印支战争时,误入雷区被炸身亡,年仅41岁。

根据国际新闻工作者联合会统计,2017年全世界有81位记者失去了生命,多数是在战火纷飞的地方。

让我不禁问:为了还原所谓的事实真相,而放弃身体健康甚至牺牲性命,真的值得吗?而到底又是什么驱使着他们一路向前?

还记得很多次我和一起做报道的同学同事赶稿子、剪视频,经常顾不上吃饭。大家都开玩笑说,做我们这行的,都是靠肾上腺素撑着。

他们赚钱不多,哪里有新闻就去哪里奔波,成名的人也是凤毛麟角。美国职业导向网站CareerCast.com把报纸记者和播音员排在美国十个最糟糕的工作之列,尤其是新任总统特朗普发动“媒体之战”之后,对于新闻工作者的需求和审查制度都有所提高。

 

2017年1月20日华盛顿当地报纸封面、特朗普总统就职典礼、亚裔就职舞会、Women’s March记者牌

美国战地记者詹姆斯·纳赫特韦(James Nachtwey)曾说肾上腺素带来的兴奋感是记者生存的必要条件但不足以成为他们为真相卖命的根本原因。

“Adrenaline is part of the job because it’s actually necessary to survive, but there are deeper reasons for pursuing the profession than adrenaline.”

对于新闻人来说,追求真相的使命和逃离危险的本能,孰轻孰重,我无法做出明确的答案。只是作为站在船头的瞭望者,我想应该要先明确方向才好掌舵。

后记:前些天看央视的内刊,里面说对于新闻记者来说,思考显得尤为重要,因为我们一直“在路上”。尤其作为一个非常年轻的新闻人,这里写的一知半解,希望可以抛砖引玉,大家一起探讨。

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The seven-year itch in a relationship with America

Seven years ago, I hopped on an airplane for the first time and flew from Beijing to San Francisco, transferred to Chicago and then landed in Milwaukee.

People say there is the seven-year itch in relationships. What happens after dating a foreign country for this long? I tried to relive pieces of life from the past through my own words. It tastes bittersweet.

2009 – First time leaving home and everything behind, I was 16 and a half years old. People say “they who know nothing fear nothing.” So I told myself to “go out there to encompass, embrace and enjoy.” I just didn’t know it was going to be the case for the next seven years.

Continue reading The seven-year itch in a relationship with America

‘Asia on Argyle’s history and today

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Look from Ba Le to ‘asia on argyle’ sign during construction on Argyle St. on Aug. 5, 2016.

It’s around 11 o’clock on a Tuesday morning. On the corner of Argyle and Broadway, looking over a Chinese-style pagoda and a streetscape that reads “asia on argyle,” Ba Le, a Vietnamese sandwich shop, welcomes a constant flow of customers of all ethnicities.

“We see all kinds of people. On weekdays like today, you see Vietnamese, some Chinese and Americans,” said Foye, cashier at Ba Le. “On weekends, it’s all Vietnamese people.”

Since Le Vo, the original owner of Ba Le, came to the U.S. from Saigon and opened the Chicago branch in 1988, the identity of Argyle has changed from “New Chinatown” to “Little Saigon” to now “Asia on Argyle,” a commercial area that attracts new investments.

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Presidential candidates speaks to Asian-American voters on immigration policy

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Bill Clinton, Sean Reyes, Jill Stein and Gary Johnson (clockwise from top left) speaking at a presidential town hall in Las Vegas on Aug. 12.

Less than three months away from the 2016 presidential election, candidates from major and independent political parties addressed Asian-Americans, the fastest growing immigrant population in the country, at a presidential forum in Las Vegas on Aug. 12.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes spoke on behalf of Republican Party. Born to a half-Filipino and half-Spanish immigrant father and a mother of Hawaiian and Japanese origins, Reyes said he might not look like a typical Donald Trump supporter.

He said he even had difficulty getting through the security to get on stage.

“I think they just thought I was another attendee who was lost or someone trying to sneak up on the stage to ask another question,” he said.

But Reyes added, “The fact that [the Trump Campaign] would allow an average person like me to be able to speak to a group as important as you” was one of the reasons he started to support Trump.

Continue reading Presidential candidates speaks to Asian-American voters on immigration policy

Chinese lessons at Chicago Public Library draw diverse crowd

Through the floor-to-ceiling windows in a contemporary building near the Cermak-Chinatown L train station on Monday afternoons, one can see more than a dozen people from different walks of life, trying to have conversations together.

Chicago’s new public library branch in Chinatown was remodeled and opened last August. Standing amid Chinese restaurants and residential apartments, this glass-and-steel structure has become a community center for Chinese-Americans and a language learning hot spot for Chicagoans of all ethnicities.

Si Chen, library manager at the Chinatown branch, started to teach Chinese beginner lessons four months after the library opened, thinking it would be good for children.

“There are a lot of kids go to Chinese schools to learn and practice Chinese, and I thought the lessons here would be a supplement to that,” Chen said.

Continue reading Chinese lessons at Chicago Public Library draw diverse crowd