1 9 7 2 -- China '72: A Hole In The Bamboo Curtain

A WWL-TV Special Project

written & narrated Phil Johnson
filmed & edited by Jim Tolhurst

Jim Tolhurst and Phil Johnson were the first American non-network news team to be allowed into the People's Republic of Red China in more than 25 years.

After 14 months of letter writing to Chinese authorities and two visits to the Chinese Embassy in Canada permission was granted to enter China. Tolhurst and Johnson traveled with a Congressional delegation that included Hale Boggs, House Majority Leader; and Gerald Ford, House Minority Leader.

The Tolhurst/Johnson team spent two weeks on the Chinese mainland visiting Peking, Shanhai, Shenyang, Anshan, and Canton. They met, interviewed, and dined with Prime Minister Chou-En-Lai.


1972 George Foster Peabody Award

1972 New York Overseas Press Club Award

1972 NPPA University of Oklahoma TV Newsfilm Competition, 3rd Place Documentary

1972 UPI Broadcasters of Louisiana, 1st Place Documentary

1972 George Foster Peabody Award:
For Meritorius Servcie to Broadcasting


1972 George Foster Peabody certificate


Phil Johnson and Jim Tolhurst with their second Peabody.

Trip itinerary - June 26 - July 5, 1972

Tolhurt's equipment inventory


Tolhurst in the rice paddies.


Tolhurst with Gerald Ford (left)


Dinner place card


Johnson & Tolhurst with Chinese Prime Minister Chou-En-Lai.

China Odyssey: Peeking at Shanghai Clarion Herald, July 27, 1972

A Bouquet for WWL-TV's 'China' Variety, January 24, 1973

NBC Leads Winners of 1973 Peabodys Broadcasting, March 1973

Congratulations WWL-TV! It's Another Peabody Award! Men of the South, May 1973

Face to Face with Chou En-Lai? TV-Guide, September 30 - October 6, 1972.