Tsinghua University’s journalism school, which vows to produce journalists adherent to the Chinese Communist Party’s standards of “Marxist journalism,” enjoys support from a host of American corporates and establishment media outlets such as Bloomberg, CNN, the New York Times, and Facebook.
Financial supporters of the Global Business Journalism School, which aims to “apply Marxist theory” to journalism, include Bank of America, Bloomberg, consulting giant Deloitte, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
The university claims the following Western news entities provide “talent, equipment, and internships” as part of a “long history of cooperation” with Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-controlled Tsinghua:
- The New York Times;
- Financial Times;
Also listed as collaborating on the explicitly Marxist venture are individuals such as CNN host Fareed Zakaria and Facebook Vice President Lori Goler, who both served as guest lecturers in 2017.
Bloomberg’s Editor-at-Large and columnist Lee Miller is listed as a professor, while Leslie Wayne, a contributor and former business reporter at the New York Times, is a Visiting Fellow. Also included in the ranks of professors and fellows are a host of CCP apparatchiks.
These companies, in collaborating with the CCP, are actively aiding and abetting President Xi Jinping and his 2016 diktat that “wherever the readers are, wherever the viewers are, that is where propaganda reports must extend their tentacles.”
Given Tsinghua is wholly funded by the Chinese government, such ties appear to present a conflict of interest in the aforementioned outlets’ coverage of China.
Bloomberg, for example, has supplied the program with 10 of its notorious computer terminals, “the largest such installation at any university in the world,” and program participants have even met with Michael Bloomberg.
Co-founder and former Editor-in-Chief Matthew Winkler visited the school on its 10 year anniversary in 2016, coinciding with the company’s decision to provide additional funding for the school.
Collaboration with Tsinghua is also egregious given the college has reportedly launched cyberattacks against the U.S. government, has a “clear connection” to the CCP on issues of technology and national security according to the U.S. State Department, and is president Xi Jinping’s alma mater.
Xi retains a close link with the university, having recently met with the institution’s advisory board at the CCP’s Great Hall of the People.
The school was even highlighted by the New York Times in its article, “Professors, Beware. In China, Student Spies Might Be Watching.”
An introductory letter to Tsinghua’s Global Business Journalism School outlines its express purpose: to accomplish the “tasks for news media” outlined by the Central Committee of the CCP.
In order to “cultivate talented professionals” who can “achieve these goals,” the Dean of the CCP-funded and controlled school wants to apply what he calls the “correct political orientation” aka Marxism, to journalism:
Central to the Beijing-based school’s mission is training journalists who “take a lead in public opinion” as opposed to placing emphasis on factual, objective reporting, reflective of the CCP’s weaponization of media as a tool to reinforce party narratives. Hence the country’s nonexistent freedom of the press and routine suppression of journalists.
As a result, alumni of the program frequently go on to work for outlets including China Central Television, Xinhua News Agency, China Daily and the People’s Daily. These outlets are key players in the Chinese state media landscape which have been identified as a “long-standing weapon in Beijing’s arsenal of repression” whose “mission is to attack designated enemies of the Communist Party.”
Western audiences, however, are not immune from the nefarious influence of GBJ, as alumni have gone on to work for Western, establishment outlets such as Bloomberg.
Sellouts & Sycophants.
Rick Dunham, who served as 2005 President of the National Press Club, which bills itself as “The World’s Leading Professional Organization for Journalists” of the CNN, New York Times, and Washington Post establishment ilk, now directs the Tsinghua program.
Dunham, a former White House correspondent for Business Week magazine and Washington bureau chief of the Houston Chronicle, floods his personal blog with praise of the institution, emphasizing the “high quality of the faculty and students” and how the campus “is one of the most beautiful in the world.” Dunham, an American citizen, has declared himself “at home in Beijing” and detailing how “living in China” has “made [him] a better person.”
Dunham, who “runs” the program, published an uncritical review of China’s National Day, a holiday which commemorates the CCP’s takeover of the country. Neglecting the tens of millions of lives lost as a result, Dunham fawningly described the event, comparing it to the Fourth of July and emphasizing its “grandeur”:
Dunham’s sycophantic appeals to the CCP on his blog perhaps demonstrate the narratives the school pushes on its students.