May 8, 2008
Anna Christopher, NPR



Multimedia Coverage Includes Videos from Beijing Internet Star

Trip Marks All Things Considered’s First Weeklong Reporting
From Another Country

May 8, 2008; Washington, D.C. – All Things Considered will devote a week to programming from Chengdu, China, examining the country’s global evolution and how the generation that came of age after Chairman Mao’s death is actively reshaping the nation. This special programming will air May 19-23 on more than 640 NPR Member stations nationally. There will also be extensive additional video, audio and text content on

The multimedia project – which includes video from the host of the China-based internet television show “Sexy Beijing” – marks the first time the NPR flagship afternoon newsmagazine program has reported from another country for an entire week.

“With the Summer Olympic Games coming, we chose to do this now, and in this city, to convey a sense of the dramatic changes that people have experienced here in everyday life - where and how they live, how they move about, where they travel, what they buy and what they aspire to for their children," said Robert Siegel, senior host of All Things Considered. "It's a very traditional place, steeped in the ways of Sichuan province, but it is the epitome of a city facing the future and welcoming it with gusto. I think what we learn about Chengdu will provide lessons for the coming century in our country." Siegel is one of a team of eight NPR journalists and producers contributing to this project, including hosts Melissa Block in Chengdu and Michele Norris in Washington, D.C., and NPR News’ Beijing correspondent Anthony Kuhn.

All Things Considered will explore China’s political, economic and cultural emergence as seen through the lens of the country’s dynamic under-40 generation: cutting-edge consumers and change-makers who are spurring realignment in this ancient land. Chengdu, the capital city of the Sichuan Province, has emerged as one of China’s leading economic and transportation hubs. Some of the scheduled reports include a profile of a stockbroker turned organic farmer, part of a growing trend toward organic farming due to concerns over food safety; controversial dietary changes and conservation efforts at a Chengdu panda research center; migrant workers who moved to Chengdu in search of better lives; and how a traditional neighborhood is being torn down and rebuilt in a more modern fashion.

The week of on-air reports will be augmented by original Web audio, video and text at On the NPR News blog “Chengdu Diary,” staff offer a glimpse behind the reporting and insight into Chengdu life. The blog will also feature videos from the host of “Sexy Beijing,” an Internet television station.

NPR News is providing extensive, ongoing, in-depth coverage of China across all news desks and programs and at NPR News maintains two bureaus in China: Kuhn is based in Beijing and Louisa Lim in Shanghai. They will join sports correspondent Tom Goldman to report on the Olympics, August 8-25. In April, All Things Considered host Michele Norris reported on China’s efforts to reduce pollution, and the roadblocks preventing such change, from Beijing and Shanxi Province for NPR’s year-long “Climate Connections” global climate change series. Earlier this year, a seven-part series “China and the World” reported by six NPR News correspondents based in Beijing, Cairo, South America, Moscow and Southeast Asia analyzed the country’s expanding global influence.

NPR News’ foreign coverage includes 18 international bureaus in such cities as Kabul, Dakar, Baghdad, Mexico City and New Delhi. NPR’s foreign coverage is consistently recognized for broadcast excellence, and has received every major award in journalism, including a 2007 Alfred I duPont-Columbia University Award and a 2005 George Foster Peabody Award for coverage of the Iraq War.

All Things Considered, NPR's signature afternoon newsmagazine, reaches nearly 12 million listeners weekly and is hosted by Melissa Block, Michele Norris and Robert Siegel. Andrea Seabrook hosts All Things Considered Saturday and Sunday editions. To find local stations and broadcast times, visit