Enlivening the news

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

Enlivening the news

His latest project is to cover the fight against desertification in Saihanba on the Hebei province-Inner Mongolia autonomous region border. [Photo provided to China Daily]

New experience

Fountain was brought up in Birdwell, a village near Barnsley in South Yorkshire. After attending Wath Comprehensive School, whose most famous old boy was the former Conservative party leader and foreign secretary William (now Lord) Hague, he studied English and history at Reading University.

Wanting to follow a media career, he then did a master's in print journalism at Sheffield University.

"It was then that I first did a little bit of video, working with some broadcast guys who came in to teach us," he says.

His first job in journalism was in Falmouth in Cornwall in the south west of England, where he worked as reporter on a weekly newspaper.

"It was a fantastic experience. Apart from the bread and butter stuff like covering courts and council meetings, we had crazy things like dolphins being beached and we would go and watch them being rescued and report on that."

His first experience of working abroad came when he joined the Gulf Daily News in Bahrain in 2011.

"The place was simmering after the 'Arab Spring'. I spent the first eight months wearing out shoe leather as a reporter covering the funerals of policemen who had been killed by roadside IEDs (improvised explosive devices)," he recalls.

He went in to become the paper's deputy news editor, where he was on call until midnight every other night, before accepting an offer to come and work for China Daily.

"The day before leaving Bahrain, I was sitting in the sun in shorts, T-shirt and sunglasses. When I arrived in Beijing, it was -17 C. We arrived in the absolute bitter cold of winter. It was quite a shock."

 Before he started at China Daily, Fountain had never been to China.

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