Popular Chinese YouTube Channel Host on Her Gentle Approach to News
Host of popular YouTube channel shares secrets of her success
“We’re in a troubled world. Those who want to speak the truth must first have courage and a sense of justice.”
—Weiyu Chen, host of Chinese YouTube channel
A gentle, mild-mannered young woman, Weiyu Chen has the attitude of a friendly next-door neighbour rather than the brisk manner of a political commentator. Yet her Chinese-language YouTube channel Weiyu Watching the World has reached millions of people with its coverage of complex political topics.
Many of Chen’s viewers have commented that watching this gentle young woman talking in front of the camera makes chaotic current events sound somewhat soothing.
“Nowadays, in many current affairs programs, the host will talk excitedly, making it difficult for the audience to settle down. I take a less emotional approach to help people process the chaos of the current world with a calm mind,” Chen says.
“It’s analogous to listening to music. Rock music, for example, is very enjoyable to listen to, but it can leave you feeling depressed. Classical music, on the other hand, has a soothing effect on the body.”
Chen says that her calm approach to news reporting was shaped by her understanding of traditional Chinese culture and its view of societal development.
“The principle of ‘letting nature take its course’ is an important one in traditional Chinese culture,” she says. “People have birth, old age, sickness, and death; a country has its rise and fall. This is the natural law of development. When people understand this law and recognize this trend, they’ll be detached, and won’t be affected by society’s turbulence.”
From propaganda to truthful reporting
Chen’s mission with her YouTube channel is to bring truthful information and insightful analysis to her audiences. Yet the start of her career was quite different.
While in China, Chen worked in the news media for many years, joking that she was once a “fake news” maker.
“After graduation, I joined a local TV station by chance. In order to participate in the national news program selection, our TV station would choose hot events from that year, reprocess and alter them, and even invent some stories,” Chen says.
“The theme and content were to praise the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. If we did well, in other words, if we made the story sound authentic and the form of the program was novel, we could win awards and big bonuses.”
Many people envied Chen’s seemingly glamorous TV job, but she hated this practice of willfully deceiving the public.
This inner frustration and accompanying depression prompted Chen to leave China and come to Canada. With the freedom to report authentic news, she has regained her passion for media work through her YouTube channel.
Chen hopes more of her Chinese compatriots discover her videos.
“In China, there are many kindhearted people, but they don’t have a channel to get true information. They’ve been deeply brainwashed by propaganda. When they hear different voices from overseas, they may recognize the Chinese Communist Party’s willful deception and lies,” Chen says.
The power of compassion
Gentle in nature, Chen has nonetheless shown great resilience when facing the challenges of running her channel.
“We’re in a troubled world. Those who want to speak the truth must first have courage and a sense of justice,” she says.
One martial arts story she read in childhood has guided her on this path.
“When I was twelve years old, I read a novel depicting a girl who followed her Master to practice in the mountains. One day, she met with some villains, but she wasn’t afraid of them. Instead, she addressed them with respect and sincerity. Her purity and compassion dissolved any thoughts they had of hurting her.”
“I realized for the first time in my life that goodness can overcome even the most powerful and make evil disappear,” Chen says.
Growing up, Chen’s parents taught her to be kind. “My father once invited a beggar to sit with us at our table for a meal. I was wondering why he did that. My father explained that there’s no distinction between people. This view has guided me since.”
Chen believes the principles of goodness and kindness can ensure success in every facet of life.
“I have a businessman friend. He once told me that if people were down-to-earth and honest, their business would flourish. No one wants to do business with those who are cunning,” Chen says. “People nowadays think that if you want to gain an advantage, you need to be strong. Sometimes it’s wiser to take a step back and win in the end.”