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High Tech, Low Life: Live Chat with Filmmaker Stephen Maing and Subject Zola

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docchat on Twitter

Stephen Maing, director of High Tech, Low Life, and Zola, a prominent Chinese citizen-journalist featured in the film, will be on the #docchat Twitter chat on Tuesday, July 23 from 5-7 PM ET (2-4 PM PT). They will be taking your questions about citizen journalism and the experience of making the documentary.

High Tech, Low Life follows two of China’s first citizen-reporters as they document the underside of the country’s rapid economic development. A search for truth and fame inspires young vegetable seller “Zola” to report on censored news stories from the cities, while retired businessman “Tiger Temple” makes sense of the past by chronicling the struggles of rural villagers. Land grabs, pollution, rising poverty, local corruption and the growing willingness of ordinary people to speak out are grist for these two bloggers who navigate China’s evolving censorship regulations and challenge the boundaries of free speech.

Ask the filmmaker and citizen journalist questions by posting to Twitter with the hashtag #docchat.

Here is an overview of the #docchat event:

Stephen Maing and Zola

Director Stephen Maing (above), and citizen journalist Zola (below).

When: Tuesday, July 23 from 5-7 PM ET (2-4 PM PT). If you can’t make it, you can send in your questions ahead of time using the hashtag #docchat or in a comment below.

Who: Stephen Maing and Zola will be the guests. Maing will be tweeting from @HighTechFilm and Zola from @zuola. POV will be moderating from @povdocs.

How: To submit a question, send a tweet with the hashtag #docchat from a Twitter account, or leave a comment below if you don’t have an account. To follow the conversation, search the hashtag #docchat on Twitter. You can also bookmark this post and return on Wednesday, July 24 to view an archived transcript of the conversation.

Submit a question now »


On July 22, 2013 at 10 PM, POV will present the national broadcast premiere of High Tech Low Life on PBS (Check local listings). The film will be available for streaming on the POV website from July 23, 2013 to August 21, 2013.

For updates on the 2013 season of POV, subscribe to POV’s documentary blog, like POV on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @povdocs.

POV Staff
POV Staff
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 300 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.
  • Glorious One

    I watched the documentary yesterday on TV. It was amazing. What a great documentary! It was very interesting and I’m glad these guys are doing all this thing of reporting what is censored. Down with censorship and authoritarian rule NOW!