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Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Center (CHP) is a small grassroots, legally-registered NGO working to protect cultural heritage across China.

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Journalist Salon: a Good Learning Opportunity

Last Thursday afternoon, The Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Center received a group of special guests – more than 20 journalists from the media field, including editor journalists from national level medias such as CCTV (China Central Television) and China National Radio, from mainstream medias such as Guangming Daily, China Culture Daily, Beijing Youth Daily, The Economic Observer, Southern Weekly, Wen Hui Bao, China Daily, and The First, as well as editors and strategy planners from such cultural heritage protection related medias as Chinese National Geography, China Cultural Heritage, Chinese Heritage, and World Heritage Magazine.

INTERNEWS and the Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Center (CHP) co-sponsored this well-organized Journalist Salon for these media friends. The theme of the salon was citizen society; aiming to provide a more effective communication channel for our media friends in order to allow for a better understanding on how NGOs in China’s cultural heritage protection field work. To that end, we also invited friends from Memory of China and Tufeng Project, so that together we could introduce our work in the cultural heritage protection area from different angles.

Following the introduction of the three organizations, some of the media friends shared their thoughts and opinions regarding the related topics. Based on the questions raised by these media friends during the event and the answers from the completed questionnaires, the media’s interest in cultural heritage protection work is much stronger than previously expected.? Below, we selected two representative Q&A sections from the questionnaires.

Question: What are the main challenges you meet in reporting issues on the cultural heritage protection problem?

Answer: Half of the respondents answered that the “challenge of knowledge” was their main problem, while a considerable amount of respondents emphasized the lack of deep analysis when working on the subject of cultural heritage protection. Additionally, lack of familiarity with the “laws and regulations” in cultural heritage protection area, as well as the related “management system” were considered to be a major problem.

Question: What do you expect to gain and benefit from attending similar journalist salons in the future?

Answer: While all respondents agreed that to be up-to-date in the cultural heritage protection field and to know more insiders in the field would be the most beneficial, we think it’s more worthwhile to discuss an improved reporting method mentioned by two of the journalists in attendance. One of these journalists pointed out that in the future he/she hopes to have more opportunities to “analyze the misunderstandings and mistakes in existing reports, in favor of writing more constructive reports”. This may be one of our focuses in future journalist salon activities.

Admittedly, regarding the organizational work of this event, there are things we need to improve. However, we take it as a great beginning. Based on the feedbacks of our journalist friends, we hope to do better in the next journalist salon and keep on making great efforts to provide more accurate, timelier, and more transparent information on cultural heritage protection.

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