Encouragement: A Short
Autobiography of a Journalist
Translated by Jing M. Wang
Zi Gang (1914–88), bom Peng Xuezhen in Beijing, started her
career in journalism at the outset of the War of Resistance
against Japan. Her writing covers ordinary people as well as
important political figures and events, not the kast of which is
the negotiation between Mao Zedong and Jiang Jieshi (Chiang
Kai-shek) held in Chongqing in 1945. In 1957, she was
condemned as a rightist and not reinstated until 1979. She
continued to write and publish until the end of her life.
I have been a journalist for four years now, and will probably continue with this job. Yet I feel compelled to say that I became a journalist accidentally. A person without long-term plans and foresight, coincidence is the story of my life.
Women often ask me how I made a journalist of myself, just like I ask clerical staff how to dispatch certain business. In recent years, being a journalist is a dream for many young women. Even though chances of becoming journalists are slim, this job remains attractive to them.
It happened like this. I helped out with a magazine publisher for over a year. Sometimes I was assigned to interview people and conduct surveys about social change, which constituted all my training in journalism. On