WASHINGTON – Radio Free Asia (RFA) today won a regional Edward R. Murrow Award in the reporting category for hard news. The winning entry, “Billionaire Flees China’s Modern Day Red Terror,” submitted by RFA’s Cantonese Service, consists of an on-camera interview with former Chinese real-estate mogul Li Jun who fled China in 2010. He was one of the highest-profile victims of the anti-mob and corruption campaign orchestrated by disgraced Chongqing politician and former Politburo member Bo Xilai and ex-police chief Wang Lijun. The award, sponsored by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA), will compete for a national award expected to be announced in June.
“Li Jun’s amazing story gets to the heart of the Bo Xilai scandal and the larger issue of abuse of power and corruption among China’s party leaders,” said Libby Liu, President of RFA. “For our listeners in China, who wouldn’t get the whole story otherwise, this epitomizes RFA’s brand of journalism – informative and up close.
“This award speaks to the hard work of our reporters who went to tremendous lengths to interview Li Jun.”
RFA’s Cantonese Service tracked down the fugitive businessman who lives in hiding in Asia and interviewed him. Li recounted his experience of becoming the victim of one of China’s most tumultuous political dramas in years – a situation he characterized as a kind of “red terror” recalling incidents of the Cultural Revolution. In RFA’s interview, the penniless former tycoon talked about the detentions of his family, including his wife, and associates, as well the confiscation of his company’s assets, estimated at $700 million. The saga of ambition, intrigue, and abuse of political power is presented through this personal account of one of the campaign’s highest-profile victims. The two-part interview was aired in April 2012.
Other regional Edward R. Murrow award winners include Bloomberg News, World Radio Switzerland, Siren FM, KQED, WAMU, and WNBC.