Assignment: China

The USC U.S.-China Institute

In This Review

This 12-chapter documentary series, reported by the former CNN Asia correspondent Mike Chinoy, surveys the history of the U.S. media’s reporting on China. It includes contentious episodes such as the Time reporter Theodore White’s struggle with the publisher Henry Luce over how to portray the Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek during World War II and Bloomberg News’ 2013 decision to fire the reporter Michael Forsythe because, Forsythe says, his research into the wealth of Chinese elites had angered the Chinese regime, threatening the expansion of Bloomberg’s business in China. (Bloomberg has denied this.) Viewers who are new to the China story will get a vivid primer on 70 years of political, social, and economic change through the eyes of journalists who covered it. As China followed a twisting path from war to Maoist revolution to its present state of prosperity and assertiveness, American correspondents faced ever-changing challenges. Still, wave after wave of reporters understood the importance of the story and covered it with remarkable insight.