Friday, August 31, 2012

On August 31

On this day in ...
...1987 (25 years ago today), in Manila, the Philippines, editor-publisher Diane Yun-Peng Ying (left) received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication Arts. The award ("known colloquially as the Asian Nobel Prizes") was given in recognition of Ying's establishment in 1981 of Tien Sia, or CommonWealth, a Taiwan-based periodical focused on business news. (It's one of several awards the magazine's won over the years.) Ying, who had emigrated from mainland China as a child, earned her bachelor's degree in Taiwan and a master's in journalism from the University of Iowa. She worked in Pennsvylania at the Philadelphia Inquirer before returning to Asia, where she worked for a number of publications before co-founding her own. In accepting her award, Ying posed a timeless question about journalism:
'Must we be nothing more than a commercial tool where news is regarded as a product for sale, a source of entertainment, and a journalist's ultimate goal is to seek personal gain, fame, money and power?
'Or can we, and should we, become a positive force in society, helping to build better understanding between the government and the people, to form consensus in a nation, and to foster hope among fellow human beings?'

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