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February 12, 2019updated 30 Sep 2022 7:29am

Journalist for Chinese state broadcaster named alongside Times and Buzzfeed reporters in Forbes 30 under 30 media list

By James Walker

A journalist working for a Chinese state broadcaster has been recognised alongside reporters from The Times and Buzzfeed in the Forbes 30 under 30 list of this year’s upcoming media stars.

The eight journalists featured on the 2019 list include Nicola Keaney of China Global Television Network, Buzzfeed senior political correspondent Alex Wickham and The Times and Sunday Times data-led investigations journalist George Greenwood. 

Former journalist Peter Humphrey filed a complaint with broadcast regulator Ofcom in November last year claiming the state-run English-language broadcaster filmed and aired a confession he was forced to make by Chinese authorities.

He said this was against British broadcasting regulations and has asked for the broadcaster’s UK licence to be pulled.

CGTN did not respond to requests for comment from the UK press on the claim.

An Ofcom spokeswoman told The Times: “We have received a complaint which we are assessing as a priority. If, following investigation, we find our rules have been broken we would take the necessary enforcement action.”

A leaked memo, seen by Buzzfeed News earlier this month, also revealed that CGTN had registered as a foreign agent with US authorities because of its close ties with the Chinese state.

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Keaney formerly worked at Sky News, covering the Germanwings plane crash in the French alps in 2015 and going on to become deputy foreign news editor by the age of 25.

She was at Brussels airport when bombs went off in March 2016 and in Bamako, Mali, when ISIS took over and killed 20 people inside a hotel. She is now deputy director of newsgathering at CGTN.

Keaney tweeted that she was “humbled” to appear on the list next to people she admired.

Guardian Middle East correspondent Bethan McKernan, author Reni Eddo-Lodge, freelance journalist Sally Hayden, former Buzzfeed staff writer Gena-Mour Barrett and Reuters’ Tom Platt are also on the list.

The Europe media 30 under 30 have celebrated their achievement on social media, with Greenwood saying he was “delighted” to be in its ranks and Eddo-Lodge saying she was “blown away” by the support.

Writing about 25-year-old Greenwood, Forbes said: “By the age of 25, Greenwood has brought numerous exclusive public interest investigations to the front pages of the BBC and The Times.

“He showed how hundreds of mental health patients have been getting stuck for years in hospitals, despite being ready for release back into community care, at the BBC.”

All those on the list are described as people “defining and driving the world of news and content”.

CNN Europe editor Nina Dos Santos was among the three judges for the media category.

The Forbes 30 under 30 list of European media personalities last year featured six journalists working for UK-based outlets, including Sunday Times Middle East correspondent Louise Callaghan.

Picture: Forbes 30 under 30

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