Posted by Joel Martinsen on Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 2:25 PM
Qingyuan Daily: It's only good if the readers say so
The first issue of the new year is traditionally a time for newspaper editors to address their readership directly and either recap the achievements of the past year, or lay out some vague goals for the coming one.
On January 1, the Qingyuan Daily, the mouthpiece of the party committee of a city in northern Guangdong Province, ran the following New Year's greeting under the byline of editor-in-chief Pan Wei:
We're Working Hard for Reader Praiseby Pan Wei / QD
The mockup of the final newspaper of 2009 has been reviewed, and another year has come to a close. Another year of hard work for my colleagues and I. Why all of the effort and hard work? One simple reason: reader praise.
What sort of praise?
Praise to the face is flattery; praise from a friend is favoritism; praise from leaders is encouragement; praise from myself means that I feel fine.
So what kind of praise, then?
Third parties. In mid-October, 2009, at a head-to-head competition held during the Ninth National Newspaper Editors Seminar on News Photography and Summit on 60 Years of New China News Photography, this newspaper was awarded third prize in the National Outstanding Newspaper Photo-Feature Award. It was one of just sixteen papers at the national, provincial, and prefecture levels, and one of three prefecture-level papers, to receive an award. Jury-member Gu Zhigang, a professor at Fudan's School of Journalism, said, "Qingyuan Daily grasps the essence of news photography — high impact — and represents the future direction of the news pages of municipal party newspapers. Qingyuan Daily's creative vision takes shape in its pages to grip readers' attention. It is a worthy model for other municipal party papers to study."
Colleagues. The head of the Shaoguan Daily, located like us in northern Guangdong, said last month that he was envious of two things we had: a newspaper run with a degree of culture, and a large number of high-quality advertisements.
Businesses. Ad clients say that a good newspaper is one with effective distribution. So a newspaper with lots of ads is a good newspaper.
The editor-in-chief of this newspaper says: the best newspaper is one that does not cause trouble.
My colleagues and I wish the readers of Qingyuan Daily a happy new year!
Southern Weekly, which picked up the editorial in its January 7 issue after Pan's final words had caused a stir online, offered some quotes from other media workers:
Links and Sources
Jobs in China
Henry on The Eurasian Face
Caroline W on Big in China
Michael on Julia Lovell on translating Lu Xun's complete fiction: "His is an angry, searing vision of China"
Brandon K. on Clueless academic takes on popular fantasy novels
China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
Books on China
The Eurasian Face : Blacksmith Books, a publishing house in Hong Kong, is behind The Eurasian Face, a collection of photographs by Kirsteen Zimmern. Below is an excerpt from the series:
Big in China: An adapted excerpt from Big In China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising A Family, Playing The Blues and Becoming A Star in China, just published this month. Author Alan Paul tells the story of arriving in Beijing as a trailing spouse, starting a blues band, raising kids and trying to make sense of China.
Pallavi Aiyar's Chinese Whiskers: Pallavi Aiyar's first novel, Chinese Whiskers, a modern fable set in contemporary Beijing, will be published in January 2011. Aiyar currently lives in Brussels where she writes about Europe for the Business Standard. Below she gives permissions for an excerpt.
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Korean history doesn't fly on Chinese TV screens (2007.09): SARFT puts the kibbosh on Korean historical dramas.
+ Religion and government in an uneasy mix (2008.03): Phoenix Weekly (凤凰周刊) article from October, 2007, on government influence on religious practice in Tibet.
+ David Moser on Mao impersonators (2004.10): I first became aware of this phenomenon in 1992 when I turned on a Beijing TV variety show and was jolted by the sight of "Mao Zedong" and "Zhou Enlai" playing a game of ping pong. They both gave short, rousing speeches, and then were reverently interviewed by the emcee, who thanked them profusely for taking time off from their governmental duties to appear on the show.