Zilin Jin will compete with around 7.6 million people. A task not easy for someone living in the most populated country in the world.
When Zilin Jin was told to go to the seaside of Taizhou and report on the Typhoon Fitow that rammed this eastern Chinese city, she realised that was not easy to be a journalist.
The sun was not shining on the 6th of October 2013, in the middle of the National Holiday; also known as the Golden Week.
It was the first time that Jin – 24— reported immediately outside of Taizhou district in Zhejiang Province, 1,553 km away from Beijing. She was shocked when her tiny, brown eyes saw the
She was shocked when her tiny, brown eyes saw the 20-metre waves rapidly approaching the coast and her body felt the 150km/h winds that would soon hit unsuspecting buildings and cars. But this is an experience that was challenging and memorable for her indeed.
Zilin studied journalism in Chengdu, in the southwest of China seven years ago. She was pursuing her dream of being a television presenter and specialized in fashion, celebrities and entertainment. A task not easy for someone from a country of 1.3 billion people, where around 7.6 million graduate every year, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of the People’s Republic of China.
While she felt she did not receive enough reporting skills during her undergraduate, Jin started working at 2013 in the Zhejiang Daily, a local newspaper in China. A proper place for developing the skills that, perhaps, no university can teach in a classroom.
Zilin reported mainly about society, local information, and on-going issues in Taizhou. She was the first journalist behind the police, local government, and other sources, who translated privileged information into useful news for citizens.
“Nothing bad to start gaining some work experience”, she remarks.
After two years, Zilin Jin moved forward to her dream job. It was enough time to understand how a newspaper works and how to be a reporter. She pointed out to herself that it was time to go back to university but, this time, outside of China. She found a master’s program, 9,247 km away from her hometown, that could give her more practical tools and qualifications for being the new Ellen DeGeneres in China: the MA in International Multimedia Journalism at Newcastle University.
She pointed out to herself that it was time to go back to university but, this time, outside of China. She found a master’s program, 9,247 km away from her hometown, that could give her more practical tools and qualifications for being the new Ellen DeGeneres in China.
Zilin Jin has been two months in the UK so far, and as many other Chinese people, she enjoys homemade food and trying new recipes. According to her, Chinese hospitality is shown by inviting people to have dinner. “We, Chinese, like to prepare our own food. We have a huge variety of ingredients
“We, Chinese, like to prepare our own food. We have a huge variety of ingredients from China. They are good for our health and soul”, she says.
Actually, food is one of the reasons for Chinese to feel proud of their country. It is like coffee for Colombians or yerba mate for Argentinians. Zilin Jin agrees on that and also affirms emphatically that people in China – mainly the Government, have done the right thing to be wealthy, developed and safe.
And she feels proud of that, despite, as she recalls, some “political decisions”.
Fan of comedic and romantic films, especially those where Scottish star James McAvoy is featured, Jin considers herself a person who likes to have friends within China and around the world.
This is why she spent 20 days in studying in the United States. She went to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Washington DC and New York. Nevertheless, her most memorable trip was to Indonesia last spring.
Zilin visited the island of Bali with her parents, the same place where Julia Roberts found herself in the movie Eat, Pray and Love, and fell in love with a Brazilian adventurer – that has nothing from Brazil, but only a forced and unimpressive accent.
However, a cultured Zilin Jin, appears when it comes to talking about Chinese history. For instance, she recalls, almost as she had lived before, that China was brutally attacked by the United Kingdom and other Western countries in 1884.
Consequently, she points out that her country did not live in peace for almost 65 years, between 1884 and 1949. Or another fact, that China had a serious civil war after the World War II, between 1945 and 1949.
Zilin is also a fan of music. Unlike most Chinese people, she prefers Western genres and rhythms. When her mood is on fire, she enjoys listening to Jazz and Blues. Though, nothing defeats her favourite singer and songwriter, Jason Mraz.
“It is an artist that you can listen even if you are feeling well, lonely or upset.”