Tian Wei: To become a life-long learner
Tian Wei delivering the speech
Tian Wei presenting enthusiastically at PKU’s Yenching Academy’s Conference Hall
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
A group photo with the audience
Reported by: Cynthia Xin Yu Wu
Edited by: Zhang Jiang
Photo credit to: Cao Hanxiao, Xiao Yeke, Yang Liu, Melody Tan, Tian Wei
Reported by: Cynthia Xin Yu Wu