In China, a growing number of journalists are devoting themselves to charity work, which sometimes leads to new directions for their careers.
Journalists' savvy about potential problems with charities, which are often the subject of scandals in China, is helping improve charitable institutions and contribute to the development of civil society.
Charities were once a state monopoly, but after the Guo Meimei incident, state-run charities are facing enormous doubts and criticism.
Meanwhile, organizations such as China Dolls Care and Support Association have developed quickly, and many of these are organized by journalists. With the rise of new media, how people conduct and contribute to charity has changed as well.
Right now it seems that anyone with a good idea and an account on microblogging service Sina Weibo can start an online campaign and raise money for a cause.
What will China's charities become? What special talents are journalists bringing to charity work? And what will new media bring to the charity world? IJNet organized a meetup in Beijing about charity campaigns and reporting in the age of new media to look into these questions.
We invited four speakers involved in different charity projects. Deng Fei from Phoenix Weekly introduced his Free Lunch Project, Ren ren from Phoenix TV shared his online campaign to help "Ci Wa Wa" - Glass dolls, referring to brittle bone disease patients, Zhuang Jing from Sun TV introduced her initiative which donates books to children from rural areas, and charity professional Qiao Ying talked about her "Wardrobe of Love" project, which invites celebrities to donate their clothes for auction and uses the money to buy new clothes for poor children in rural China.
"There are plenty of ways to change this country," Deng Fei. "Charity is an indirect one. It is gentle yet powerful." Another speaker, Zhuang Jing said over Weibo: "This event is so meaningful. Seeing all these young faces here, I felt empowered. Anyone can take part in charity work and it is not something where we rush to get results but something we should stick to and never give up."
Attendees journalists from national media organizations such as Nandu Weekly, Chinese Radio Network, foreign media organizations such as South China Morning Post and Reuters, and people working for websites such as innose.com and net.cn.
The original article, published by IJNet Chinese, can be viewed here.