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The Fourth Estate

Following the Chinese media’s intense coverage of the blitzkrieg trial of Gu Kailai, those of us at Sinica want to take this opportunity to look back at the most riveting China story of the year. And while we’ve covered developments week-by-week and assume you have too, as Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn point out in today’s show, there’s been very little discussion of how the story itself broke: How and when did Western journalists cut through the Chinese rumor mill?

Answering these questions and representing the fourth estate in our studio today are two excellent journalists who’ve covered the story from unsubstantiated rumor through to courtroom trial. We’re pleased to be joined by Gady Epstein, a long-time China correspondent currently writing for The Economist, as well as Jeremy Page, an experienced China journalist who writes for The Wall Street Journal and made his name as one of the first investigative reporters to crack and confirm the Gu Kailai/Neil Heywood connection back when most coverage of the Wang Lijun affair consisted of myriad and conflicting rumors centered on Bo Xilai and the United States consulate in Chengdu.