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Q&A: How to cope with perils of being a Chinese news assistant for foreign media

Excerpt of an 11 August 2015 CPJ Blog post by Yaqiu Wang, CPJ Northeast Asia Correspondent.

News assistants, or zhongmi (which literally means "Chinese secretaries"), are Chinese citizens working for foreign journalists in China. They play a number of roles including monitoring news leads, conducting research, translating materials, and arranging interviews, as well as acting as cultural liaisons who can explain social and political phenomena to journalists who may not be fluent in Chinese or have not long been in the country. As a former China correspondent for Agence France-Presse told the Asia Society, "Most foreign bureaus would be nothing without their Chinese news assistants."

But their role is a precarious one, and they must learn to straddle the expectations of their employers and the pressures of China's security apparatus.

Read the full blog post on CPJ's site

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