Media regulation

Nostalgia for Southern Media's bygone days

Jiang Yiping, torch-bearer

Blogs are buzzing with the news that Jiang Yiping has been removed from her position as deputy general editor of the Southern Metropolis Daily and transferred to a research position in the Southern Media Group, presumably at the behest of the Central Publicity Department.

The news was first reported by overseas organizations that aren't 100% reliable, so people were understandably suspicious. One commenter explains:

At first I thought that this was yet another attempt by the western media to tear down our country, and I never expected that it was true. I'm so disappointed! Chinese media, I really grieve for you!

Jiang served as editor of Southern Weekly from 1996 through 2000. Many bloggers and forum commenters, nostalgic for the importance and influence that the paper had in that era, have reposted a New Year's editorial, "There's always something that brings you to tears," that Jiang once wrote.

Well-known Xiamen-based freelance writer Lian Yue blogged about his first day at working at Southern Weekly:

You could call her Teacher Jiang Yiping

by Lian Yue

Yesterday, Southern Metropolis Weekly's Shen Ding joked with me during an interview: You always write about how great Guangzhou is, so why don't you move there?

I could only say, Xiamen is nice, too.

Guangzhou is nice in a difference way from Xiamen. I've always felt fortunate to be able to live in Xiamen and write articles for the Guangzhou media.

But I still would rather live in Xiamen. The niceness of Guangzhou has become a part of me that I'm not afraid of losing.

And when I write about Guangzhou, I actually mean #289 Middle Guangzhou Avenue: the Southern Media Group.

One day back in 2000, I reported to Southern Weekly (the editorial offices are on the 11th or 12th floor, I forget which), to Jiang Yiping's office. As a simpleton who'd only worked for a local party newspaper and hadn't see the wider world of journalism, the question that jumped into my mind the instant I saw Jiang was how I should address her.

I didn't want to call her "Chief Jiang," or "Editor Jiang," because I felt that style made the media out to be an officialdom chock full of power struggles — pretty stupid, but that's what I was thinking at the time.

So I stared blankly for a few seconds, and then addressed her loudly where she sat behind her desk: Jiang Yiping!

With a smile she had me take a seat, asked me a few simple questions, and then told me that I ought to treasure the platform that Southern Weekly provided.

As she was speaking, an editor came in with page proofs and called her "Teacher Jiang" (江老师).

It was already too late, but I realized: I could call her "Teacher Jiang."

During the two years I stayed with the Southern Media Group, I never once returned to her office. Of course there's nothing to regret about that; I never even got to see Fan Yijin in person. Are they incomplete without your words of praise? No. Can they reveal to you the secrets of journalism? No. For the most part, it'd just be bland small-talk.

It's through their lengthy experience that they tell you how journalism should be done and what a journalist ought to be like.

I came, I saw, and I learned.

That was sufficient. No power can take that away.

What does it matter if you don't have the chance to see them again?

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There are currently 2 Comments for Nostalgia for Southern Media's bygone days.

Comments on Nostalgia for Southern Media's bygone days

So sad that another true journalist is banned

Well, in this society you gotta know who your REAL boss is. And it surely ain't "the people".

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