Chai Jing: I Am A Reporter

  • December 23, 2011
  • Editor: Zhao Chenxi
  • Change Text Size: A  A  A

Well-known professional journalist and China Central Television (CCTV) presenter Chai Jing, born in the 70s, is noted for her direct, cut-to-the-point interview technique. The SARS epidemic, Wenchuan earthquake and various coal mining accidents are among the main events on which she has reported.

After going to study in Changsha, Hunan Province, in 1991, Chai wrote to the host of local radio program asking him to help her work in radio. Her initiative won her an interview and a part-time job.

Chai went on after graduating in accounting to work on Changsha TV station.

Chai's first TV appearance was in 1999 on Hunan TV while at the China Communications University, when she was invited to host a talk show called New Youth.

The desire for a challenge after graduating took Chai from New Youth to CCTV, where she became reporter and host of the news program Link Up. Unfamiliar with the language of mainstream media, this was a huge challenge to Chai. Hard work and innate professionalism soon helped her make the transition from talk show host to news reporter.

Chai Jing: I Am A Reporter
Chai has always had a direct journalistic approach. She said in one interview with the manager of a mill that infringed pollution limits, "You say your plant does not violate emission limits?" which he affirmed. "What is it, then, that I can smell as we sit here?" Chai asked. "I don't smell anything," he replied. "Nothing?" Chai persisted. "That's right," he said, "I don't have a nose as sharp as yours." Chai's response was a direct glare and a glassy smile.

Director of the CCTV critics department director Chen Mang later said to her, "When you know the complexity of reality, you will not judge a thing so quickly. Your youth is reflected in what you say. Your thinking lacks logic."

In her twenties at that time, Chai's boss often criticized her. She went to Wenchuan directly after the earthquake in 2008 to report on the disaster. After meeting a local family she decided to give up live broadcasting and go home with them. When her boss asked, "What are you trying to do?" Chai could only reply "I don't know."

Chai kept records of her time in that mountainous area. The materials she brought back consisted of unconnected items of daily occurrences that she compiled into a program called Seven Days at Yangliuping. After its first broadcast, a viewer wrote to the channel saying how deeply the program's everyday style of narration and humanitarian emphasis touched him.

After seeing the program, a seasoned CCTV worker commented, "In past shows Chai was always obviously aware of being young and pretty. It was in this program that she became an adult."

 "After that program, I began to change. Before I used to worry that something might happen. Now I feel safer in a state of 'not knowing'. It's a kind of respect for life. I was 32 that year, and a close relative of mine passed away. Having seen other people deal with death, it was my first experience of mortality. Experience has taught me that life is like water and flows and grows by itself. All you can do is to put aside your obsessions and watch the waves lapping the shore. This watery analogy is the life I like, rather than obsessive persuasion and explanation," Chai said.

Chai gets as close to the news as she can, and her sense and intuition make her an excellent news reporter.

In Chai's Own Words

Journalism is my profession and also way of life.

The road to people's hearts is the hardest, and a journalist may have to make sacrifices to win others' trust. The questions I ask bring people out of themselves.

If you don't care about people, you are not a journalist; and if you only care about people, but not the solutions to their situations, you will not become a good journalist.

A country is composed of people that create and decide how it will be. People can only be proud of their country if they pursue the truth, record reality, give regardless of how much they get, think independent thoughts, defend the Constitution and keep trying even though they know the world can never be perfect. It is only when a country has such brains and spirit that we can say we are confident of a better tomorrow.

(Source:, / Translated by

Please understand that,a non-profit, information-communication website, cannot reach every writer before using articles and images. For copyright issues, please contact us by emailing: The articles published and opinions expressed on this website represent the opinions of writers and are not necessarily shared by

comment on this story

Messages that harass, abuse or threaten others; have obscene or otherwise objectionable content; have commercial or advertising content or links may be removed.

    most popular
    • Most Viewed
    • Editor's Pick
    • I have a question, not sure if you're capable of answering, but I don't really know where else to ask.... (Context: I'm an English teacher from the United States with Mandarin that can get by in conversations but nothing spectacular. I'm teaching ...Rebecca from China, Jiangsu
    • Good afternoon, I am sorry if this question has come to the wrong place. I am hoping that this contact email address is correct for my question. I am a Family Engagement Manager in the UK Home Office. I work with Chinese families in the UK whos ...Gavin Scott from UK Home Office (Immigration)
    • Hello, Can you refer me to a human rights organisation where I can get URGENT support ? I encounter women violence in Macau (psychological abuse). My safety is at risk. I am with a lung cancer patient with multiple medical problems and depends on wa ...LWLUI from Macau
    • 您好。我是香港浸会大学国际新闻专业的学生,也是一名外国自由记者的助手。目前我们在做妇女权益保障的相关议题,我想请问您国内目前有没有专门针对保障妇女劳动就业权益的机构、组织或团体?如果您能为我提供一份名单我将感激不尽。谢谢。 Dear Sir/Madam, I'm a postgraduate from Hong Kong Baptist University majoring in International Journalism as well as an assistant of ...刘韶馨; from 中国(香港)
    • Hello! I am researching NGOs and international organisations working with women in China. I was wondering whether you might be able to suggest individuals or organisations working in this area who may be willing to speak with me? Thanks in advance!Camille from England
    • Dear Sir/ Madam, Greetings from Niskrity Foundation Bangladesh. I feel privileged to your honor for active and sympathetic consideration. I would like to take this opportunity to inform you that ours is an organization working at the grassroots f ...AZIZ from Bangladesh
    • Olá! Passando só para dizer, que acho vocês chinesas as mulheres mais bonitas do Planeta.KT from Brasil
    • Greetings. I attended a women's studies conference in Beijing, perhaps 1995. Can you help me with the actual year?Gayle Kimball, Ph.D. from United States
    • I wish to inform women working as social workers, counselors and psychologist in China that the 23rd World Family Therapy Congress will be held 11 - 14 March 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We invite you to join colleagues from over 30 different coun ...William Hiebert from Asia
    • Commission on the Status of Women meeting for 2015-May I please get in touch with your group so that I can follow your organization's fantastic growth and development in this area? I am trying to empower North Asian women to understand gender equalit ...Betsy Kawamura from United States
      • 银川妇女
      • Our Chinese Dream
      • Spouses of Ambassadors to China
      • 台港澳婦女頻道