Calling someone an outsider removes their right to speak, Beijing-based correspondent says

Calling someone an outsider removes their right to speak, Beijing-based correspondent says

By Li Bingcun

A Beijing-based Hong Kong-born correspondent for The New York Times said she has been refused interviews in China because she is an “outsider.”

Such “inside” and “outside” concepts remove people from the debate and deprive them of their right to speak, Didi Kirsten Tatlow said.

“Should we say to the working guys in Zhuhai, ‘Oh your opinion isn’t important because the rest of you are in Beijing?’’,” she said.

Tatlow writes about social issues in China for The New York Time’s Sinosphere Blog and has won five SOPA Awards for her reporting. She spoke at a forum for SOPA Award winning journalists at Hong Kong Baptist University last week.

The perspective is hard to change, but the government has also realized that having an outside perspective is sometimes valuable.

“The solution lies in communication with both insiders and outsiders,” she said.

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