How paltry are the traces left behind by a life, even one concentrated around those supposed things of permanence called words. We spend our time upon the earth and then disappear, and only one one-thousandth of what we were lasts. We send all those bottles out into the ocean and so few wash up on shore.
Time dims memory. But not that kind. Somewhere in a corner of the brain, one little cell never forgets. It keeps the song that, heard again, recreates the room, the person, the moment. It preserves the phrase or the laugh or the gesture that resurrects a friend long gone. It knows precisely where you were and what you were doing when you heard about Pearl Harbor if you're old enough, or Kennedy's assassination, or Martin Luther King's, or the Challenger explosion. Every detail is frozen in memory, despite all the years. It keeps the innocuous question, too. The question that sometime later, when all the synapses are working, produces the epiphany, the moment when you're driving along and you realize that finally you understand. And why did it take you so long?
I used to think the most important thing for a reporter was to be where the news is and be the first to know. Now I feel a reporter should be able to effect change. Your reporting should move people and motivate people to change the world. Maybe this is too idealistic. Young people who want to be journalists must, first, study and, second, recognize that they should never be the heroes of the story. ..A journalist must be curious, and must be humble. --Zhou Yijun
I would tell young journalists to be brave and go against the tide. When everyone else is relying on the internet, you should not; when nobody's walking, you should walk; when few people are reading profound books, you should read. ... rather than seeking a plusher life you should pursue some hardship. Eat simple food. When everyone's going for quick results, pursue things of lasting value. Don't follow the crowd; go in the opposite direction. If others are fast, be slow. -- Jin Yongquan
I think that of all the principles for journalism, the most important is to complicate simple things and simplify complicated things. At first sight, you may think something is simple, but it may conceal a great deal. However, facing a very complex thing, you should find out its essence. -Jin Yongquan
Media work needs ideals. Maybe thirty years from now, after I retire, I'll see the media mature and make the transition from political party, interest group, and corporate to truly public. But over the next ten years, the encroachment of commercialism and worldliness will loom much larger than the democratization we imagine. -Jin Yongquan in China Ink