In 2004, David Barboza became the New York Times’ Shanghai correspondent, where he began researching a story that would fundamentally change the relationship between Western journalists and the Chinese government.
The story involved the former Prime Minister of China, Wen Jiabao, and his billions of hidden assets in stocks, companies, and through family and close friends. By confirming rumors that indicated corruption at the highest levels of the Chinese government, David Barboza’s report was explosive, and received the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting.
The scandalizing nature of his report did not go unnoticed by Beijing, however, and the New York Times website remains blocked in China to this day.
The “Harvard on China” podcast sat down with David Barboza while he was in residence at Harvard’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism in 2016.
This interview is the inaugural conversation in the Fairbank Center’s “Communicating China” project, where we examine how China is communicated in public discourse by academics, journalists, and officials, and how that shapes conversations about China’s position in the world.
The “Harvard on China” podcast is hosted by James Evans at Harvard’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. Listen to more podcasts at the Fairbank Center’s SoundCloud page.