Assignment China: End of an Era
Documentary screening and discussion with MIKE CHINOY, creator and lead reporter, End of an Era
Drinks reception 6:30 pm
Screening 7:00 pm
Post-screening Discussion 7:45 pm
Close 8:15 pm
The early and mid-1970s were a time of intense political drama in China. As Chairman Mao's health deteriorated, the struggle between the radical "Gang of Four" led by Mao's wife Jiang Qing, and pragmatists like Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping was reaching a climax. For American correspondents, it was a huge — and hugely challenging — story. How this critical period was covered is the subject of the 45-minute documentary, End of an Era, described by former U.S. Ambassador to China Winston Lord as an “essential and invaluable” resource for understanding the role of the U.S. media in shaping American and international perceptions of the country.
Following President Nixon's visit in 1972, China began to permit somewhat greater, but still strictly controlled, access by U.S. reporters. Correspondents were also able to accompany Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and President Ford on trips to Beijing. But for the most part, China remained off-limits to American reporters. As China faced an intensified power struggle and a dramatic and dangerous leadership transition, the task of covering developments largely fell to a colorful group of "China-Watchers" in Hong Kong. Sitting on the outside, they struggled to keep up with the rapidly changing, and often mystifying, developments that would shape the future of China.
End of an Era is part of Assignment China, a documentary film series on the history of American correspondents in China produced by the U.S.-China Institute at the University of Southern California. Join its lead reporter and presenter, Mike Chinoy, in a post-screening discussion.
Mike Chinoy is a Senior Fellow at the U.S.-China Institute at the University of Southern California and the creator of the Assignment China documentary film series. Mr. Chinoy spent 24 years as a foreign correspondent for CNN, including eight years as the network’s first Bureau Chief in Beijing. He began his career working for CBS News and NBC News in Hong Kong in the 1970s. Mr. Chinoy has received numerous awards for his journalism, including the Emmy, Peabody, and Dupont awards for his coverage of the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident and a Dupont Award for his coverage of the tsunami. He holds a BA from Yale University and an MS from Columbia University.