On December 1, 2014, USALI welcomed journalist Andrew Jacobs for the Institute’s final installment of this semester’s weekly lunch series. Since 2008, Mr. Jacobs has been based in Beijing covering China for the New York Times. During the lunch, Mr. Jacobs spoke about the challenges facing foreign journalists in China, specifically with regard to visa renewal and freedom of expression. He also touched on his recent work, which includes coverage of Ilham Tohti, a Uighur economist who was recently sentenced to life for separatism-related charges, and Pu Zhiqiang, a civil rights lawyer and well-known human rights defender who was arrested in June 2014 following his attendance at a gathering to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the 1989 student-led protests in Tiananmen Square.
Mr. Jacobs began writing for the New York Times in 1995, and over the years has reported for a number of desks, including National, Business, Culture and Styles. In 2002, he was part of a team of reporters who won a Pulitzer Prize in the public service category for their coverage of the 9/11 terror attacks in Manhattan. In 2010, The Society of Publishers in Asia awarded him and several other Times writers a Feature Writing prize for “Uneasy Engagement,” a 10-part series that explored China’s growing influence in the world; in 2009, the Society also cited his coverage of the government’s crackdown on dissent during Beijing Olympics. In 2011, he and a group of Times reporters were finalists for a Gerald Loeb Award for their reporting on Google’s clash with the Chinese government over censorship issues.