• Chris McMillan

Reporting from the front, for all to see

China Daily

September 16th, 2008

Reporting from the front, for all to see

A guide stick usually lasts at least a couple of years. But his has worn out in just a few days.

There is good reason for that, though. The ground Yang Qingfeng has covered as a radio journalist at the ‘Beijing Paralympic Games’ is perhaps more than what he has during the rest of his 26-year life.

"I've never walked so much in my life. Normally, a guide stick can be used for years, but last night I noticed its bottom was gone," said Yang, the first accredited visually impaired Chinese reporter covering a sports event, yesterday.

Yang and Xie Yan are working for the Beijing One Plus One Culture Exchange Center, a non-profit organization run by physically challenged people. Xie, the director, founded the center in March 2006.

Like true professionals, Xie and Yang began their Paralympics' coverage a year ago, with the one-year countdown gala for the Games and the Good Luck Beijing International Goalball Tournament in September last year.

Yang and three of his colleagues became China's first disabled reporters to cover an international event, the 2007 Special Olympics in Shanghai, last year.

But the biggest show for Yang and Xie was the Paralympics opening ceremony. That evening, the two and six of their colleagues broadcast a three-and-half-hour live show on their website, sharing the show with hundreds of their visually impaired friends.

And since then they have been running between the venues, interviewing athletes and collecting as much first-hand material as possible for their editors.


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