The Daily Eastern News

Journalists talk covering Yingying Zhang murder trial

Ben Zigterman, reporter for the News-Gazette, and Joe Astrouski, journalism professor and former reporter for WAND-TV, refer to the projector of slides during their discussion detailing their personal experiences covering the kidnapping and murder trial of Yingying Zhang, a crop scientist from the University of Illinois, Wednesday at the Doudna Fine Arts Center’s Lecture Hall. During the discussion, Zigterman and Astrouski played a wired recording in which Brendt Christensen, the graduate student from the U of I who was convicted for Zhang’s abduction and murder, confesses to his ex-girlfriend (the person wearing the wire) the crime. In the recording, Christensen is heard saying that he choked Zhang for 10 minutes while she struggled. Zigterman said that recording helped expose how truly “debased” Christensen was.

Ryan Meyer, Staff Reporter

February 20, 2020

Two reporters who covered the kidnapping and murder trial of University of Illinois student Yingying Zhang in 2017, Ben Zigterman of the News-Gazette and Eastern’s own journalism instructor Joe Astrouski, formerly of WAND-TV, held a discussion concerning their coverage of the kidnapping in the Dou...

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