Follow The Money
In many decades of western news coverage of China, 2012 was a watershed moment. In the space of just a few months, a Bloomberg News team headed by correspondent Michael Forsythe publishing a sweeping expose of how relatives of China’s new leader, Xi Jinping, had earned vast fortunes in a variety of often disguised business deals. Soon after, David Barboza of the New York Times published his own revelations of the wealth accumulated by the relatives of Chinese premier Wen Jiabao. Both exposes followed remarkable reporting by the Beijing press corps about the scandal which led to the fall of one-time Chongqing Communist Party Chief Bo Xilai.
These stories broke new ground, not only in terms of what they revealed about China’s new rich - but also as examples of a new kind of investigative journalism that has become increasingly important for covering a rapidly changing China. The correspondents took advantage of China’s evolution towards a more open, internationally engaged, market-style economy to unravel a series of complex, opaque, often hidden set of business dealings reaching to the highest levels in the People’s Republic.
The behind-the-scenes story of the journalists who conducted the investigations - and faced the dramatic, controversial, and often frightening consequences - is the subject of “Follow the Money.” Based on extensive interviews with most of the leading figures involved, the film chronicles the emergence of a new kind of journalism that will become increasingly crucial as reporters - and the public at large - seek to understand the dynamics of a new, wealthy, and increasingly powerful China.
"Follow the Money" is the final episode of Assignment China, a 12-part series chronicling the history of American correspondents in China from the 1940s to the present day produced by the U.S.-China Institute at the University of Southern California, http://china.usc.edu/assignment-china-usci-series-american-reporting-china
Mike Chinoy was CNN's Senior Asia Correspondent and served as a foreign correspondent for more than thirty years. After joining CNN at its London bureau in 1983, Chinoy served as Beijing Bureau Chief from 1987 to 1995. During that time he covered the 1989 events at Tiananmen Square, earning the CableACE, duPont and Peabody awards. He was also Hong Kong Bureau Chief for five years. His other awards include the Silver Medal from the New York Film Festival and Asian Television Awards for his reporting in Indonesia and Taiwan. Chinoy's published two books, China Live: People Power and the Television Revolution (1999) and Meltdown: The Inside Story of the North Korean Nuclear Crisis (2008). He taught at the USC Annenberg School of Communication and ran the School's Hong Kong summer program 2007-2009. From 2006-2009 he was Edgerton Senior Fellow at the Pacific Council for International Policy.