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Tian Wei: To become a life-long learner

NOV . 27 2018
Peking University, Nov. 27, 2018: Invited by PKU School of Journalism and Communication, Tian Wei, the famous anchor of “World Insight with Tian Wei” from China Global Television Network (CGTN), delivered a wonderful speech with her passionate speech and personal stories at Peking University on Saturday, November 24, 2018, which greatly inspired Peking University students, scholars, and journalism enthusiasts. She shared her experience and insights as an international journalist and conveyed several key ideas for the audience to ponder about. The lecture was hosted by Associate Professor He Shu.


Tian Wei delivering the speech


Tian Wei presenting enthusiastically at PKU’s Yenching Academy’s Conference Hall


This English lecture began with Tian Wei’s speech on “Inquiring about a world at the crossroads”, and was followed by a live dialogue session of five student panelists interviewing Tian Wei in English.


The audience listening attentively to Tian Wei’s speech

Throughout the night, Tian Wei expounded several themes: the importance of questions, the key traits of a journalist, and the necessity of having a curious mind so that one will learn from others’ experiences. These themes correlate with one another to deliver the main goals of the seminar, which were for PKU students to learn: the life of a journalist, the responsibilities of a committed media professional, and the international media environment through the lenses of Tian Wei. As shown by the audience’s nodding heads and curled up smiles, it was evident that the lecture was a great success. Everyone enjoyed Tian Wei’s insightful speech and was enlightened by her stories. A student from School of Electronics Engineering and Computer Science said, "The lecture will definitely change my life."

Always Ask Questions

Tian Wei began her speech by telling the audience that one should always ask questions. When she was a young journalist, she received the nickname “The Lady at the Back” because she was always eager to ask questions at conferences even though she sat in the back rows. She may not be called upon to ask her questions, but she would eagerly raise her hand because it is her right and duty as a journalist to ask questions at the guest speaker or interviewee. Tian Wei emphasized that you should try to ask questions from different perspectives, and that there are “no stupid questions in the world, every question is beautiful, we learn from questions.” She also observed that different reporters come from different countries, and may have different entry points when they want to ask questions. However, why do we hear very similar questions in the question room, what caused the outcome of these homogenous similarities?


Tian Wei sharing her stories as a young journalist

Be Genuine and Respectful

In addition, Tian Wei said one must be genuine, respectful, understanding, and empathetic towards the interviewee, or the person we wish to learn from. “People around the world are very smart, so our genuineness will show in our stories, and they can tell.” Tian Wei remarked that if “you look around yourself, you may not know every single person, but they are all climbing a mountain of their own, and not a single challenge is easier than the other.” Therefore, a true journalist or learner should respect other people’s standpoints and be empathetic of others’ past. Tian Wei takes pride in having the liberty and opportunity to be a journalist in an era of changing times, and she is proud to be a female journalist and set an example and guidance for other younger, less experienced female journalists.

An Eloquent Speaker and a Wise, Quick-Witted Thinker

Last, Tian Wei demonstrated what it takes to be a successful journalist and respectable media figure. She was an eloquent speaker, quick thinker, and responded wisely to the questions that were directed at her. A panel of five students representing Singapore, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Egypt and China went on stage to probe details and insights from Tian Wei.


The five student panelists are from China, UK, Singapore, Eygpt, and New Zealand. (from left to right)

Highlights of their conversations include:

-          ‘Tian Wei started her professional career as a music DJ before entering journalism…’

-          ‘When she is with an interviewee, Tian Wei felt responsible for the time she is on air because that is the time for others to learn about that interviewee, therefore she needs to get the best stories out of the speaker and provide a service for her audience…’

-          ‘Tian Wei is not afraid of being replaced by Artificial Intelligence (AI) because she expressed that “AI is based on algorithm, and algorithm is created by people; you cannot replace human beings with creations built by people, we as human beings understand ourselves the best when conversing with others…we have emotions and sympathy, which are irreplaceable qualities unique to human …”’


He Shu presented a gift to Tian Wei


Tian Wei with He Shu and her student panelists







The audience


A group photo with the audience
 

Throughout the seminar, Tian Wei exuded confidence in her expertise and passion for her job. She encouraged everyone to learn about the world by listening to others’ real experiences and diversified encounters. Let us all learn from Tian Wei and aspire to be respectful, empathetic individuals that can grow from our questions and learn from others’ stories.

Reported by: Cynthia Xin Yu Wu
Edited by: Zhang Jiang
Photo credit to: Cao Hanxiao, Xiao Yeke, Yang Liu, Melody Tan, Tian Wei