Enlivening the news

By Andrew Moody | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-08 07:52

Enlivening the news

Greg Fountain has become a celebrity online due to his short videos on China's politics, culture and economy. [Photo by Du Lianyi/China Daily]

China Daily's Greg Fountain has become a social media celebrity as the host of the 'Good Luck China' series of short videos. Andrew Moody reports.

Greg Fountain has had more hits than even the biggest pop stars would dare to dream of.

The 30-year-old Briton is the presenter of the "Good Luck China" series of short videos, which have been a Chinese social media sensation.

Of the series of videos-all produced by the China Daily new media team-one alone received 50 million hits.

The video journalist has now also made the national news, appearing on the main evening news program on CCTV 1 and a documentary program on the same channel.

It is, however, the light and informal style of the films in which Yingguo Xiaoge, or English little brother as he's known, which has captured people's attention.

"I think the key word is accessibility. A lot of the time-especially with politics-the language can be very dry and it is quite difficult to relate to," he says.

Fountain, unassuming and modest despite his new fame, was speaking in the lobby of China Daily, where he has worked for just over 18 months.

He was initially employed as a copy editor on the national news desk on arriving in China from Bahrain, where he was deputy news editor of the Gulf Daily News.

Very early on in his time at the paper, he was assigned to make a video for the annual sessions of the National People's Congress, the national legislature, and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the top political advisory body, in Beijing.

"We did this in Tian'anmen Square with me holding a selfie stick reading from a bit of paper taped behind the phone. I was trying my best to look into the camera," he laughs.

Nonetheless the film proved an enormous success receiving 10 million hits in total on a number of platforms, including China Daily Weibo, WeChat and Facebook.

It came out at a time when there seemed to be an appetite for light but informative films, with one, Song of Shisanwu, a government video about the 13th Five Year-Plan (2016-20), especially attracting a lot of publicity.

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