This is the fourth in a series of exclusive video interviews with veteran journalist Dan Rather, former anchor of CBS Evening News, who visited Asia Society Studios in New York City in late June. Rather, 80, currently hosts the investigative news magazine Dan Rather Reports [Facebook | Twitter], which airs on AXS TV. Rather's memoir, Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News, came out in May.
In the segment embedded above, Rather tells me how reporting from Asia has changed over the years. "With Asia booming, modernizing, in almost every nook and cranny, as it never has before, this is a vast challenge for anyone in journalism," Rather says. "There's a sense of being overwhelmed, and in that sense it's more difficult."
A complete transcript of the video can be found below.
Well, for work a day reporting, some things have gotten easier. For example, China is more open and more accessible now than it has been any time in my lifetime, certainly my adult lifetime. There was a time, as you know, China was virtually closed to any international reporting, certainly closed to most true international reporting. And that's an example how things have gotten better. Things are not perfect in China. It's still very difficult to cover there, and there are all kinds of problems. Censorship, inncluding self censorship, being one of them. But ... things have gotten better.
Also, the jet travel improving and being less expensive, satellite time being much more available and far less expensive now. All the technological advantages we have, everything from cellphones to computers have improved coverage, made coverage better.
In the way that things have gotten tougher to cover, is the rise of Asia. That, it's such a vast area. It has, I'm not sure I can back this with accuracy, but I think it has probably one fourth of the earth's surface and one third of the world's population. With Asia booming, modernizing, in almost every nook and cranny, as it never has before, this is a vast challenge for anyone in journalism and for a working day-by-day, week-in-week out reporter, there's a sense, I know from having tried to do it, there's a sense of being overwhelmed, and in that sense it's more difficult.
Dan Rather interviews the Dalai Lama at his residence-in-exile in Dharamsala, India, in July 2007. (DanRather.com)