mandag 17. februar 2020

Backstory - 'This is a special time': Reporting from the edge of China's virus lockdown

It was a late afternoon on a blue-sky day in Jiujiang, a city that borders Hubei, the central Chinese province worst hit by the coronavirus.We were riding in our taxi along a main road en route to our next destination, a large bridge over the Yangtze river, which we heard had been shut down by a checkpoint as transport links with Hubei were all but severed.

Then we noticed a police car driving alongside us. A voice over the car’s loudspeaker ordered our driver to pull over.So began what became a routine of questionings and brief detentions by local officials during a 12-day reporting trip around the border regions of Hubei as we set out to document how lives of people there had been disrupted by the epidemic. On the roadside, a police officer checked our press passes and passports. Then another came to check, and another after that. Eventually, we were told to leave our taxi. There were questions about our reporting plans.