How to speak

How to speak

: Kit Seelye reports Harvard’s Nieman Center is teaching the Chinese government how to deal with the press and this caused burps among Neiman alums appalled at the notion of working for a repressive regime. If they’re teaching the Chinese how to spin, that’s bad. If they’re teaching them that transparency must come even to China, that’s good.

  • Shalom Jeff,
    Do you even have to wonder which it is?

  • Mike G

    I heard this story and I have to say I’m torn, too. On the one hand, I don’t like the smell of teaching the Chinese how to put a happy face on their ugly regime. Though if the Olympics are already going there, that battle’s kinda lost anyway.
    On the other hand, the preciousness and self-regard of the Nieman fellows was pretty hard to swallow. For one thing, I think the press ought to be tough enough that it knows how to not get suckered by Commie spinmeisters; if our secrets of spin so ingenious that they dare not be allowed to fall into the hands of the enemy, and Nieman fellows are such impressionable flowers that they can’t resist them, then we’re all in bigger trouble than we know. But beyond that the holy preening of the sacred Nieman sorts just grates, and deserves to be taken down a few notches and back to the inkstained reality of the advertiser-supported press.

  • Angelos

    We don’t expect the truth from our regime here….

  • I heard this story on NPR this morning and was surprised all day that it didn’t pop up all over the blogosphere.
    Optimism = Free speech advocates will teach Chinese PR practitioners that they MUST let visiting journalists cover whatever they want during the Olympics, and maybe something will sink in.
    Pessimism = Free speech advocates will teach Chinese PR practitioners how to HANDLE visiting journalists during the Olympics, and something will definitely sink in.