On the Frontlines: Doing Business in China

Presented by The Atlantic

James Fallows, Editorial Supervisor and Co-Host, with analysis by Joe Nocera of The New York Times
Plus over 150 candid interviews.

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James FallowsJames Fallows of The Atlantic

Emily ChangEmily Chang of On the Frontlines

Joe NoceraJoe Nocera of The New York Times
At Sara Lee we always seek ways to merge our corporate culture with Chinese culture. ON THE FRONTLINES: DOING BUSINESS IN CHINA is the first resource that we can use on both sides of the ocean. They get China right.”
- Andi Chandra, President, Asia-Pacific, CEO, Sara Lee, China
Click for a complete list of the people we interviewed.

Bob SchapiroBob Schapiro

Dovar ChenDovar Chen

Who’s Who

James Fallows, Host & Editorial Supervisor.

James Fallows has been on the China story from the mid-1980s and has lived there with his family for several years.

He is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has worked for the magazine for more than 25 years. He has written for the magazine on a wide range of topics, including national security policy, American politics, the development and impact of technology, economic trends and patterns, and U.S. relations with the Middle East, Asia, and other parts of the world.

Fallows grew up in Redlands, California and then attended Harvard, where he was president of the newspaper The Crimson. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1970 and then studied economics at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He has been an editor of The Washington Monthly and of Texas Monthly, and from 1977 to 1979 he served as President Jimmy Carter's chief speechwriter. His first book, National Defense, won the American Book Award in 1981; he has written seven others. He has worked as a software designer at Microsoft and from 1996 to 1998 he was the editor of U.S. News & World Report.

In the five years after the 9/11 attacks, Fallows was based in Washington and wrote a number of articles about the evolution of U.S. policies for dealing with terrorism and about the war in Iraq. One of these articles, "The Fifty First State?," won the National Magazine Award, and another, "Why Iraq Has No Army," was a finalist. He also writes a monthly technology column for The Atlantic magazine.

He has a new book coming out in January 2009, Postcards From Tomorrow Square: Reports From China.

His books Breaking the News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy (January 1996), and Free Flight: From Airline Hell to a New Age of Travel were excerpted in the February, 1996, and June, 2001, issues respectively. Looking at the Sun (1994) was excerpted in several installments in the early 1990s. His book, Blind into Baghdad: America's War in Iraq (2006) is based on several of his Atlantic articles. He is married and has two sons. His latest writings can be found on the James Fallows blog.

Emily Chang, Host.

Emily C. Chang is a Chinese American journalist, television producer, and performer based in New York City. She was formerly Marketing-Communications Manager at ImaginAsian TV, America’s first Asian American TV Network, as well as a Development Executive. She was named in A. Magazine’s “Top 20 Most Influential Asian Americans,” and her artistic work has been supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment of the Arts, and the Illinois Arts Council.

Emily’s writing has appeared in A. Magazine, Colorlines Magazine, Asianweek, Chicago Social, the Columbia Poetry Review, and Blu Magazine, among others. She is the former Editor-In-Chief of iaLink, a nationally distributed Asian American e-zine. which won First Place for Excellence in Multicultural Marketing Awards and the Interactive Media Award for Best E-Zine/Website.

Joe Nocera - The New York Times

Joe Nocera is co-host of “The Business Takeaway,” a segment that appears after every program of ON THE FRONTLINES: DOING BUSINESS IN CHINA. It is a free-wheeling discussion with co-host James Fallows, in which they discuss what practical advice a businessperson can take away from an enhanced understanding of China.

Joe Nocera became a business columnist for The New York Times in April 2005. Mr. Nocera also contributes to The New York Times Magazine as a business writer. In addition to his work at The NY Times, he serves as a regular business commentator for NPR’s “Weekend Edition Saturday” with Scott Simon.

Before joining The NY Times, Mr. Nocera spent 10 years at Fortune magazine, where he held a variety of positions, including contributing writer, editor-at-large and executive editor. His last position at Fortune was editorial director. Previously, he was the Profit Motive columnist at GQ until May 1995, and he wrote the same column for Esquire from 1988 to 1990. In the 1980s he served as a contributing editor at Newsweek, executive editor of New England Monthly and senior editor at Texas Monthly. From 1978 to 1980, he was an editor at The Washington Monthly.

Mr. Nocera’s Saturday column, Talking Business, ranges widely over the world of business, covering everything from Home Depot’s annual meeting to Boeing’s comeback to his offbeat musings about his broken iPod. Slate magazine says that his column “demystifies the world of business with original thinking, brainy reporting and the ability to see around corners.”

Mr. Nocera has won three Gerald Loeb awards and three John Hancock awards for excellence in business journalism. His book, “A Piece of the Action: How the Middle Class Joined the Money Class,” (Touchstone, 1995) won the New York Public Library’s Helen B. Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism. He anchored the 1997 Frontline documentary “Betting on the Market,” which aired on PBS, and in 2003 edited “The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron” (Portfolio, 2003), a best-selling book by two Fortune senior writers. In 2007, Mr. Nocera was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for commentary. He was a winner in The Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) 2007 Best in Business Journalism Contest for his column in The New York Times.

Born in Providence, R.I., on May 6, 1952, Mr. Nocera earned a B.S. in journalism from Boston University in 1974. He has three children and lives in New York.

Bob Schapiro - Writer/Director

Bob Schapiro is the off-camera voice you hear in ON THE FRONTLINES: DOING BUSINESS IN CHINA. You’ve seen his other work but rarely heard his name.

He has written and produced stories for many major television personalities and network news programs. When they buy stories and footage from companies such as On The Frontlines, it is normal that the outside agency is downplayed or else goes completely un-credited.

Beginning in the late 1970s, Mr. Schapiro reported on-camera from El Salvador, Nicaragua and Lebanon and covered the federal courts for CNN.

He then moved behind the camera, where he broke many national stories. His efforts identified the key witness leading to John Gotti's indictment (Schapiro was subpoenaed at Gotti's trial); the Howie Spira interview which led to the suspension on NY Yankee owner George Steinbrenner's; the first video of Israel's 1985 airlift of Ethiopian Jews and the discovery and re-emergence of missing 1950s cult starlet Bettie Page.

Schapiro produced both national and local newscasts, including Live At Five at New York's WNBC and several WCBS-TV programs. He was the writer and associate producer of The Wall Street Journal Report when it originated on INN. He served as science & technology producer for the INN network. He also contributed humor and technology spots to WCBS-TV's Two On The Town.

His documentary credits include Pirates of New York, an undercover investigation of black markets, and Geisha, Keisha and American Pie, done in cooperation with Japanese journalists and shown in Japan.

Bob Schapiro also writes investigative pieces for such magazines as Playboy and wrote vignettes for the off-Broadway revue, Style Without Substance. He has served part-time on the faculty of New York University, where he received his MA.

Dovar Chen - Producer

Dovar Chen won acclaim as an independent filmmaker for Into Air, a documentary about the challenges facing farmers and fishermen after Taiwan joined the WTO. The film was a favorite at festivals in Toronto, Barcelona and Finland and had a New York theatrical run. It was cited for “its unique ability to weave world politics into a poetic manifestation.”

Dovar was born in Taipei in 1972, when the island was under martial law. She earned a B.A. in mass communications in Taiwan in 1994 and then spent six years in Taipei’s television commercial industry. She was the producer-editor of hundreds of TV commercials for such companies as Philips, Proctor & Gamble, Johnson and Johnson, Epson and Kodak.

Dovar came to the United States in 1998 and earned an M.F.A. in filmmaking at Syracuse University in 2002, writing and directing a number of experimental films.

Recently, Dovar directed “Daddy Does Cybernetics: Diary of a Mental Patient,” a video collage for a multi-media performance piece. It was presented at many prominent universities in the United States.

On an on-going basis, Dovar directs “Zen & Inner Peace”, an weekly television show in New York. She is also working on a new documentary on the emerging Chinatown in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, which is fast becoming one of the nation’s largest Chinese communities.

Dovar has spent much of the last two years in the People’s Republic of China for ON THE FRONTLINES.