• 2006-03-07

    + Profile:安思乔

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    http://www.blogbus.com/newswolf-logs/2016432.html

    安思乔,美国人,英文名字Jonathan Ansfield。六七年前认识他的时候,他还是一个跟我年纪相仿、初出茅庐的年轻人。现在,他已经来头不小:曾任路透社驻北京记者,后为华尔街日报及纽约时报等撰稿,现在是美国News Week杂志特约记者……最有意思的是,他的大名已经惊动到我们的国家安全局。不知道这家伙惹了什么事,居然害得我莫名其妙的受到国安两位特使专程到报社的“会见”,吓得我头晚一宿没睡好觉,翻来覆去的寻思:我好像没犯什么事阿?

    都忘了当初在北京是怎样认识他的了,或许是偶然看到那本美国人办的叫City Edition(后改为City Weekend)的杂志,想给他们投稿挣钱而最终联系上他的。当时我还在新闻学院上学,他在City Edition做编辑,约稿或者自己采写文章,文化、娱乐及休闲类的文章。见到他的时候很惊讶,他居然跟我一样年轻,像是刚出学校的大学生。我印象最深的是他流利的中文,他甚至学会了北京人的那种油腔滑调。

    想想1999年和2000年的时候也多亏了有他和他所供职的这份杂志,让我得以用稿费养活自己。知道他们提供的稿费有多高吗?一个字一块钱。我的妈!我头一次听到他们的offer的时候吓得半傻,不敢相信自己的耳朵。啊,一个字就值一个大洋?那不爽歪歪?我在这个杂志发表的第一篇文章,800字,就800块钱到手,那个叫激动啊。

    稿费虽然高,但我并非每次总能说服安思乔和他的老板接受我的新题目。不过既使如此,隔三差五的给他们写稿,加上干点教人学英文的家教,在新闻学院的最后一年,我不但自力更生,还略有点丰衣足食--居然攒够了钱够买了自己第一台电脑,7000块啊,当时的电脑贼贵。

    扯远了。今天忽然想起这位仁兄,是因为偶然看到一篇写他的文章。当初虽然去City Edition全职打过几个月的工,但跟他相处那些时间,其实对他个人的情况并无了解,也从来没有问过。看了这篇文章,才知道他的来龙去脉,一边给《新闻周刊》供稿,一边在北京娶了个中国老婆(Amy Li,City Edition的广告经理),而且还在日坛公园开了酒吧,另外还开了个卖工艺品和家具的店子。一句话,小伙子混得不错啊。

    都是干新闻,人家从美国跑到中国混,我反其道而行之,从中国跑到美国混。比比?算了,说来惭愧,赶紧加油吧。

    Where are they now?
    Milwaukee native reports the news from his Beijing home

    By Andrea Waxman, The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

    This is part of an ongoing series featuring hometown sons and daughters as they make their way in the world. We invite our readers to notify us of other interesting stories for future issues.

    1992 Nicolet High School graduate Jonathan Ansfield, a resident of Beijing, China, calls himself an “accidental journalist.”

    “My career path has been a serendipitous and at times reluctant one. But, looking back, journalism was the easiest way to write about China and make a living doing it,” said Ansfield in an e-mail interview with The Chronicle.

    Journalism came into his life in 1998, while Ansfield was taking a year off from a graduate program in Chinese literature at the University of Chicago to improve his spoken Chinese in Beijing. And he “ended up helping launch an English-language culture/entertainment/ lifestyle guide called City Edition,” he said.

    “Since we covered a lot more social and national stories than you’d normally find in a free city guide administered by the state — pollution, film industry reforms, Amway in China, a couple of high-profile [expatriate] murders — I had made a lot of friends in the press corps,” Ansfield said. These connections eventually led to his first job as a correspondent, with the wire service Reuters, and more recently to “a couple pieces in the Asian Wall Street Journal; a cover feature for Wallpaper magazine (March 2005);” and now, mainly to reporting for Newsweek magazine.

    Initially “hooked” on China by a Chinese literature survey course he took in his freshman year at Brown University, Ansfield began studying Mandarin, the official language of China.

    So, during his junior year, he spent a semester in Beijing. Luckily, and somewhat unusually, he said, he had Chinese roommates and “quickly got exposed to their natural warmth and openness and breadth of interests and ambitions. The inexhaustible curiosity of the country was perhaps my deepest first impression.”

    Ansfield was lured by the magnetism of modern China — “coming into its own as an economic force in the mid-late 1990’s” — with “its flourishing urban street culture and underground arts scene” and “the pungent scent of opportunity” in cities like Beijing and Shanghai, he said.

    He finally had to decide whether to hold onto his fellowship at the University of Chicago or stay on in Beijing [where he was by then the managing editor of City Weekend, as it had been renamed].

    At the time, in 2000, he had just begun dating his future wife, Amy Li, then the advertising manager of City Weekend. So, Ansfield “stayed on as editor there for double the pay” and “committed [himself] to a hazy but overwhelmingly hopeful future, much like China’s at the time,” he said.

    Big Brother’

    His personal life, he said, is not greatly affected by policies and practices of the Chinese government, one of the world’s last remaining communist dictatorships, except that it is bureaucratic. “It’s a lot easier to come to China and stay here than it is for foreigners (Chinese included) in the States,” he said.

    He also said that he’s “always felt the presence of the law much less so than in the States, probably due to the inconsistency with which it’s usually enforced … particularly as it relates to foreigners.”

    As a member of the foreign press, however, he is very much affected by the government. “Big Brother isn’t always watching but we’re never really sure when he is,” he quipped.
    “When there are sensitive Communist Party meetings or anniversaries/deaths and big protests or other student incidents, the state surveillance apparatus is clearly on higher alert.”

    Recently, after the death of a reformist leader, Ansfield said, cell phone messages between him and his boss “were mysteriously scrambled on occasion and we had to be careful to use untapped phones to plan stories, exchange information or plan meetings.”

    This was not because he and his editor were threatened, he said, but “to protect well-placed sources and Chinese dissidents.”

    Another challenge is the difficulty of conveying China’s complexity, contradictions. Particularly because of the importance of the U.S.-China relationship — as “strategic partner[s] or strategic competitor[s] — Ansfield feels “a tremendous burden of responsibility … to be fair and accurate and well-contexted.”

    Ansfield and his wife, Amy, a Communist Party member who is “a venture capitalist in the original sense of the word,” live in “a newish Western-style” condo with “all the convenience you’d have at home.”

    She is currently opening a store, which will sell furniture and art objects from Southeast Asia and the couple also owns “a bar/café in a stone boat structure on a fishing pond in Ritan Park,” one of Beijing’s oldest parks.

    The city, like its political and cultural landscape, is “a giant tangled mess with a grand semblance of order,” according to Ansfield. “You can either look at it up close or from afar — both are equally real.” Ansfield said he prefers to spend most of his days “trying to dig [his] way through it.”

    Jewish stereotypes

    As for Chinese views and experience with Jews, Ansfield cautioned that “everyday American ‘political correctness’ remains largely irrelevant and incomprehensible in a society that is 80 percent one ethnicity and 90 percent registered atheist” and noted that “Jews have had but a marginal, passing history” there, so “most Chinese aren’t in a position to know much more … than the all-too-familiar stereotypes.”

    But “if I was applying to work for a Chinese company, I’d happily write ‘Jew’ at the very top of my [resume] because educated Chinese … are bound to think two things: smart and good at business.”

    “Even my father-in-law proudly proclaimed at my wedding: ‘My wife and I are [Communist] Party members and our ancestor was also Jewish — Marx.”[url=http://www.zhixian.com.cn/]上海装修公司[/url][url=http://www.zhixian.com.cn/]http://www.zhixian.com.cn/[/url]上海装修

    Ansfield also noted that in some of the “booming coastal hotbeds of manufacturing …you often hear people claiming to be the ‘Jews of China’ — not because of any religious [or] blood connection but instead [because of] their reputation a successful entrepreneurs.”

     

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