On the Trail of Xi Jinping: A New York Times Correspondent’s Time in China

Fall 2019 Shorenstein Fellow Jane Perlez has been a foreign correspondent for the New York Times for nearly 30 years, most recently serving as bureau chief for the paper in Beijing. She previously reported from Kenya, Poland, Austria, Indonesia and Pakistan, and she was a member of the New York Times team that won a 2009 Pulitzer Prize for their reporting on Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Perlez is currently working on an audio documentary about China’s leader, Xi Jinping, and what western media and governments got wrong about his expected leadership style and policies.

She spoke with Kennedy School lecturer Richard Parker on November 5th, to a packed room of students and community members at the Kennedy School. They talked about Xi, modern China, and what it was like to report from China under over the past five years. Jane also showed a clip of her first trip to China, as an Australian college student in 1967, when her study tour found itself at the height of the Cultural Revolution.

Clips from 1967 China courtesy of Roger Whitaker, a film maker and journalist who also traveled with Jane on the 1967 trip.