Mary Kay Magistad was, for the past decade, China correspondent for the PRI/BBC radio program The World. She traveled widely throughout China and the region, reporting on the implications of China’s transformation on ordinary Chinese and on the world. Her 2007 series “Young China” won an Overseas Press Club award; her 2009 series on China’s quest for greater innovation, “Created in China,” won a Sigma Delta Chi Society of Professional Journalists award.

Magistad also opened NPR’s Beijing bureau in 1996, and served as its China correspondent from 1995 to 1999, initially from a Hong Kong base. Previously, she was NPR’s Southeast Asia correspondent (1993-95), after several years (1988-92) as a regular contributor from Southeast Asia for The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, NPR, CBC, and other media. While based in Southeast Asia, she especially focused on Cambodia’s civil war and the plight of Cambodian refugees, the Burmese junta’s crackdown on pro-democracy forces and ethnic minorities, and Vietnam’s quest to emerge from its post-war isolation. She also covered the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda in 1994, and has reported more recently in Zambia, Rwanda, and Congo, on the impact of China’s rise.

Magistad has an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Sussex (UK), and a Bachelor’s in Journalism and History from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. She has been a Nieman Fellow and a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University.

Last Updated: April 5, 2021

Sinica Podcast


Troubles and Ambitions in China

Jeremy Goldkorn, Gady Epstein & more from Sinica Podcast
Watch your rice, folks. That’s our takeaway from this week’s Sinica, which ruminates on troubles old and new in the Middle Kingdom. Up for discussion in particular are Chinese activities in Rwanda, dodgy rice, ongoing worker troubles at Apple...

Sinica Podcast


The Wikileaks Revelations, Part II

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Kaiser’s despair on learning that last week’s Sinica episode had been lost in a freak weather accident turned quickly to plotting. “We’ll simply have to make up for it somehow,” he mused. Which is how today’s special show came about: a better,...

Sinica Podcast


The Wikileaks Revelations

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
In the first of what will likely be many podcasts discussing some of the latest China-related revelations contained in the recent Wikileaks data-dump, our discussion today turns towards North Korea and Chinese diplomatic overtures suggesting that...