Documentary screening on Chinese citizen journalists on Feb. 20


Poster for “High Tech, Low Life” (Source: IMDb)

Basically you would not be able to learn what real life is like in China from Chinese students at the University of Iowa — there are many extremely different Chinas.

On Thursday, Feb. 20, you will see one of the alternative portraits of China through a documentary screening held at the UI main library.

High Tech, Low Life” is directed by filmmaker Stephen Maing. It’s about journeys of two of China’s first citizen reporters. The film follows them as they travel the country, underreporting sensitive news and social issues, which could endanger their lives.

Media censorship in China is not a new topic. However, I found something interesting from the trailer — equipping themselves with cell phones, tablets and laptops, the two people reported sensitive issues throughout China with the risk of political persecution. Besides, the places documented in the movie is the part of China that I am not familiar with.

When I was exchange student at the University of Central Arkansas, my journalism professor stressed numerous times that there was no such thing called,”citizen journalists.” This statement has sticked in my head along with his think southern accent ever since.

No matter whether these two people are professional enough to be considered journalists, as a journalism student from China, I admire their courage a great deal.

I plan to go to the film screening, hoping to know better about a China remotely far from my own experience that I need to know.


Film showing: “High Tech, Low Life”

Time: Thursday, Feb. 20, 7 p.m.
Location: Shambaugh Auditorium, the UI Main Library

Discussion with “High Tech, Low Life” director and showing of a UI student documentary on Chinese students’ experiences at the university

Time: Feb. 21 | 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Location: Room 105, Adler Journalism Building