When he’s not residing in LA, Pulitzer Prizer winner, Osama bin Laden interviewer and one-time CNN war correspondent Peter Arnett is teaching journalism students at Shantou University in southern China. He tells Fairfax NZ News reporter Alex Fensom that his charges are exceedingly industrious:
“I’ve got 60 to 80 students each semester … They are better educated than I ever was. There’s no smoking, no drinking, no fighting.”
Intriguingly, Arnett says he senses that the Chinese government realizes its days of being able to control the flow of inbound and outbound news information are gradually coming to an end. Which would leave the country’s unlikeliest ally North Korea as a Asia’s only remaining hidebound nation.
Although Arnett says he has made very few trips back to his native New Zealand since the death of his mother eight years ago, he is there currently in part to be filmed for an upcoming documentary about his life. As part of this effort, a film crew will be on hand Monday July 16 when the decorated journalist visits his namesake Peter Arnett School of Journalism at the Southern Technology Institute.
The New York Times recently ran an equally enlightening look at Arnett’s scholarly twilight.