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>  News Releases >   1998 >   May

Veteran East Asia reporter Jonathan Mirsky to speak on "Secrets" June 2

Posted 05/27/98

Jonathan Mirsky, recently retired East Asia editor for The Times of London and a former Dartmouth faculty member, will give a free, public lecture at Dartmouth on "Secrets: Journalism in China and the West" on Tuesday, June 2 at 7 p.m. in Rockefeller Center, Room 1.

Mirksy was East Asia editor of The Times, based in Hong Kong, from 1990-1997, and remained a writer with the paper until last January, when he became involved in a confrontation between News Corp/HarperCollins and former Hong Kong Governor Chris Patten. After an agreement between HarperCollins and Patten on publication of Patten's memoir of his years in Hong Kong broke down over Patten's claim that the publisher had tried to interfere in the content of the book, Mirksy publicly accused The Times of failure to pursue stories critical of China that might affect the financial interests of publishers, cable network owners and others in the global media.

He has since resigned from the paper, and is now an independent writer whose work regularly appears in The Independent, The Spectator, The New Statesman, The Times Literary Supplement and elsewhere. He continues to be a leading writer for The New York Review of Books, to which he has contributed heavily for 30 years. He also broadcasts frequently on radio and TV.

Since his retirement, Mirsky has become a frank critic of American and British policy toward China, a specialist in the coverage of human rights issues in various parts of Asia, and an advocate of a more independent press in Europe and the United States.

Born in New York in 1932 and educated at Columbia, Cambridge University, and the University of Pennsylvania, Mirsky has taught Chinese and Vietnamese history, comparative literature, and Chinese at Cambridge University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Dartmouth.

He became a journalist in 1974 when he moved to England. Before working for the Times he wrote for The Observer, The Economist, and The Independent. During his career as a journalist he has accompanied prime ministers and foreign secretaries to Beijing, interviewed the Dalai Lama, Zhou Enlai, and Deng Xiaoping; and during long residence and travel in Asia, he visited Tibet six times. He was also part of the BBC team that covered the Queen of England's visit to China. In 1990 Mirsky was named British Newspapers' International Journalist of the Year for his coverage of the Tiananmen uprising.

Mirsky has lectured frequently to the British Foreign Office, Britain's Royal National Defense College, and the Institute for International Affairs; and to many universities.

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