Magazines

Rolling Stone Hits Wall?

Translated from today's Massage Milk: Rolling Stone to Roll On Out? Free verse-style linebreaks are in the original:

Just one issue after starting, Rolling Stone's been told to stop.

Word is that the decision came from the Shanghai News Publications Bureau.
Turns out that when the foreign company was cooperating with the Chinese partner,
They couldn't figure out how best to produce a Chinese version of a foreign periodical.
Or what formalities and procedures they needed to take care of.
The Chinese partner, AV World, didn't know either.

Anyway, there was a weak link somewhere or other in the chain,
And now Rolling Stone (Chinese Edition) is an illegal publication.
That is, they can't call it "Rolling Stone (Chinese Edition)."
In other words, that is, "Rolling Stone" never got permission.

In other other words, if they didn't put "Rolling Stone" on the cover, it'd be legal.
So if they get rid of it, it'll be fine.
But then it will be AV World and not Rolling Stone.

Update: In a phone interview with Danwei, Rolling Stone editor Hao Fang said that the second issue will be coming out, and that there are "misunderstandings" going about.

Update 2: From The Independent:

The Shanghai bureau of the General Administration of Press and Publications (GAPP) ... said Rolling Stone had not fulfilled all the procedures to publish...

..."It's not simply a matter of procedure because, even if they handed in the right application, whether we would approve it remains a question," said Liu Jianquan, a spokesman for GAPP. "So we have issued them a warning and told them to stop their illegal action."

There are currently 3 Comments for Rolling Stone Hits Wall?.

Comments on Rolling Stone Hits Wall?

Dear Danwei,
You as a Chinese media expert, I think it is time to use your expertise to analyse, based on the two issues of RS, the reality of the media marketing for Rolling Stone Chinese edition. After all the hypes and scandals, even if the magazine continue to be published (I doubt if they can get another "kan hou", and if they do, they will be paying extortion fee to the next "kau hou" owner). The reality is, after the "honeymoon" period is over for the magazine, both readers and advertisers will have to look at the demographics of the magazine and the readers. Music and film magazines in China is below the radar of advertisers. That is why there are hardly any prominent advertisement in most music and film magazines. Judging from the 1st and 2nd issue's content, it is obvious RS is positioned as an old fashioned rock/music magazine. Rock is mainstream in the US, but in China who do you write about after Cui Jian and Tang Dynastay, who made 3 albums in 17 years? The bands that pay to small audiences in the Beijing rock clubs? Also, even these smaller bands have been written about by the same clique of writers in other columns over the years, so what is there to write about and how it will be different in RS? The answer is properly not much surprise IF you are a rock music lover, which is what the magazine is targeted IF they run story of Cui Jian and Tang Dynasty (alright alright, so it was a fashion shoot, but Dynasty is NOT KNOWN for their fasion taste like the stylish band Black Eyed Peas) Will Calvin Klein place ad in the magazine who's reader is interested in listen to Cui Jian and Dynasty doing fashion shoot? One must ask these questions. Also I don't know how well you know the Chinese language. American and English language used in the original magazine were badly translated into colourless Chinese in the magazine. In the past, how other music magazine got away with it was NOT many people who read the illegal and badly translated stories get to read and compare to the orginal version! But, as one reader pointed out, this is NOT acceptable when it is the official Chinese edition of Rolling Stone. We expect more professionalism and flair. When one paid RMB20 for a music magazine we expect much more discipline and integrity than "oh, readers don't see the original version to know our mistakes,and the RS headquarter also don't read Chinese to know the mistakes and life-less translation. Because from what I have read in the 1st and 2nd issues, there were SO MANY mistakes (not just typos) that, if Rolling Stone US found out, will go berserk because their brand name is at stake! Anyway, going back to the reality of getting consitent readership and advertising, which is essential for survival of the magazine. Look at the existing music and film magazines - none of them are making any money EVEN though they pay their contributors a meager (or no) fee, not to mention never have to pay for any illegal translation of Rolling Stone, Mojo or Q magazines. Rolling Stone as a legitimate magazine can't do that so their cost is much higher (even though the writers are the same as those amateurish magazine), unless they want to rip off other magazine without paying. As for writers, most of the writers in RS also write for other music magazine or music column and their standard is no different. They don't just suddenly got inspired to write RS-standard articles, as evident in the original material in the two issues. So whatever they write is not even "old wine in new bottle", but "old wine in old bottle". The 2nd issue still use some Rolling Stone articles, but under the title Audio Visual World. If you remember as well as I do, AV World was a dying magazine that nobody notice or buy (hence they rented their "kan hou" to RS, right?), and they were, like other music magazine, used to rip off Q and RS stories anyway. So if in the future AV World using RS articles can regain their readership and advertisers came lining up to place ad, they would have done so long time ago. Besides, I don't think that will happen as any media expert can tell us. Not under AV World, not under RS. If I am the advertising agency I would wait out a couple years before I place any long term ads. If I am Jan Wenner, I should have doubt about this partnership. For God's sake he licensed a Rolling Stone Chinese edition and NOT just article syndication to a dying music magazine which is what happened now! As an avid Rolling Stone magazine follower I am disappointed in the Chinese edition. Banned or not, the magazine is not what it hyped up to be to me as a reader. As for advertising, I leave that to your expert judgement.

To RS fan,

Your are right. There is no misunderstanding like the RS editor Hao Fang said. If I am Rolling Stone US, I would only license my brand name and content to produce another Rolling Stone edition, and not simply AV World running some Rolling Stone content and called themselves the 2nd edition of Rolling Stone Chinese edition! Besides, AV World has been ripping off from the Rolling Stone magazine for years without paying royalty. I doubt even if Rolling Stone ever approved the present arrangement. I mean using Rolling Stone content in a magazine that has no mention of Rolling Stone on the cover.

Dear Danwei.
I think it is not AV World solely to blame. Rolling Stone or One Media Group must have a Chinese partner or some kind of "Chinese expert" who negotiate the "kan hou" with AV World. These Chinese partner or expert also failed to scrutinise the due process of AV World. They should have asked AV World for document and prove that they have approval from the Chinese authority to publish Rolling Stone in China. Afterall, AV World (China Records) is also a government-run danwei!

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