Three days after John Garnaut, Fairfax Media's award winning China correspondent, left Beijing, I was fortunate enough to catch up with him before he gave a keynote address to the Lowy Institute's New Voices conference.
John describes the momentous changes he witnessed on both a professional and personal level over his six years in China (0.56), including the complex and often contradictory nature of China's political landscape and the challenges he faced in getting 'the story' from the within the Communist Party, the fast moving Chinese media landscape, and the professionalism of Chinese journalists (1.49). I was particularly interested in John's comments on the rise of social media, especially Weibo (2.40), which in John's words has 'transformed the way the Chinese citizens see the country and see themselves'.
Also, listen in to John's comments on what it means to be an Australian journalist (3.36) and the importance of having Australian reporting from China. Last, there's John's candid, personal account of one of the highlights of his reporting from Beijing (5.09): the derailment of BHP's takeover plans for Rio Tinto by the Chinese Government-owned aluminium giant Chinalco.