Student Q&A: Katarina Sai: "Nothing more precious than your reputation, trust of your readers"

By RIDA WANG

Global Business Journalism reporter


I had the opportunity to conduct an interview with a current Global Business Journalism student Katarina Sai on Oct. 1. I first met her virtually in September when taking GBJ online courses at Tsinghua University. Her warm personality and attitude of always going above and beyond sparked my interest in conducting the interview.


The interview introduces Katarina's cultural background, education and career, and her values in journalism. Finally, there is a fun video at the end of the post so remember to stay until the end!


Katarina Sai: "There’s nothing more precious than your reputation and the trust of your readers."

Could you tell me a little bit about yourself?


I am Katarina Sai, a first year student of the GBJ program at Tsinghua University. Currently studying from abroad because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Can’t wait to be on campus!


Where are you from?


Lviv, Ukraine. The beautiful ancient city on the West of Ukraine. It was founded back in 1256, and was a part of five different countries since then, which makes it really unique culture-wise.


When did you come to China?


My first time was in September 2017, when I came to the PKU as an exchange student to learn Chinese. I ended up spending three years in Beijing, traveling a lot and getting to know China better.


Katarina Sai spent three years in China before returning home to Lviv during the pandemic.

What did you study in your undergraduate program?


I studied at Lviv National University, majoring in Chinese Language and Literature.

What brings you to the GBJ program at Tsinghua?


I have always wanted to be a TsinghuaRen, and the courses that GBJ program offers is a perfect fit for me.


How will the GBJ program help you fulfill your goals?


I’ve been working in the PR industry since last year, and I enjoy what this job brings me. I hope that GBJ will help me to get a wide range of practical skills as well as build a strong network in Chinese media communities.


Katarina Sai: "I hope that GBJ will help me to get a wide range of practical skills as well as build a strong network in Chinese media communities."

What is your plan after graduation?


During my studies, I am planning to get an internship in one of the PR giants like the Ogilvy agency, where I can learn from the best. After graduation I hope to stick to the blockchain industry, work for big corporations and provide top PR services and my expertise in Chinese markets.


Do you believe news and opinions should be separated?


Yes, definitely. Recently, talking to people made me realize that many of us confuse independent news and opinions. Reading what others think is important, but our own views should be formed by comparing different angles, critical thinking and facts analysis. People who only rely on opinion articles might be easy to manipulate.


Katarina Sai: "Reading what others think is important, but our own views should be formed by comparing different angles, critical thinking and facts analysis."

How should journalists maintain their independence, in your opinion?


It’s important not to go under the influence of government or corporate interests and remember that there’s nothing more precious than your reputation and the trust of your readers.


What is your view on “truth” in the context of journalism or public communication?


It might be hard to stay independent in this fast-changing money-ruling world, and the concept of truth seems relative. The only thing that we can do as journalists is 1) understand the power we possess by bringing attention to a certain issue, 2) to stay true to our hearts, and 3) treat our readers with respect.


Imagining you are the first of many to discover a breaking news story, but you don’t have all the information yet. Would you rather publish what you have and make corrections later if needed, or wait until you have gathered every side in every piece?


Sometimes, I tend to rush, but I guess I would first analyze how big the issue is and what the cost of my mistake can be. I would post the story, saying that some of the facts are still missing and the story will be updated soon, this way it would allow me to protect my credibility and not to mislead my audience.


Want to know see a more personal side of Katarina? I prepared a shortened version of a Vogue styled Q&A video interview with 16 questions prepared to share with you all. Enjoy!




Rida Wang is a current graduate student studying Global Business Journalism at Tsinghua University. She will spend the next two years sharing her journey at Tsinghua, her personal observations of the vibrant cities in China, and her interest in gender relationship topics and phenomena.


Check out Rida's latest writing and videos at RidaWang.com.

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