Veteran Montclair-based journalist Jill Hamburg Coplan, a Fulbright Fellow and an adjunct professor at NYU and St. John University, has just come back from a year of teaching journalism at Beijing Foreign Studies University in China. Coplan will be sharing her insights and impressions in a free program at the Livingston Public Library on Saturday, November 10, from 2-4 p.m.
Coplan’s trip to China was organized by the prestigious Fulbright organization, the international educational exchange program funded by the U.S. Department of State.
Coplan’s role as professor of journalism to local graduate and undergraduate students gave her a unique vantage point on the social and political changes sweeping the nation.
“China is expanding its global media footprint, as part of its projecting 'soft power,' and expanding journalism training rapidly, in universities all over the country," said Coplan. "My students are training to translate China for the world, and to bring global news back to China.
Coplan was impressed with the developing journalists in her classes.
”They're not the mouthpieces or puppets that might have been expected in earlier times. They're pushing the boundaries in their stories, and though they do meet with censorship, they persist in violating old taboos and asking hard questions in their work: investigating environmental ills and health care scandals, the treatment of migrant laborers, and attempting to monitor People's Congress local elections," said Coplan. "Their articles are openly critical of everything from the treatment of educated women to the emptiness of political slogans posted all over campus.”