Let the newspaper wars begin

A brand new tabloid newspaper has hit the streets. The Beijing News (xin jing bao) is a joint venture between the influential Guangming and Nanfang Newspaper groups. The paper is 80 pages thick and costs one yuan. It will be fighting for readers with the Beijing Evening News, Beijing Post, Beijing Morning Post, Beijing Youth Daily, Beijing Star Daily etc. et how many bloody daily newspapers can this city support cetera. It's hell out there.

Here is the first issue of The Beijing News (November 11). The cover image is Bill Clinton, embracing an AIDS sufferer at an AIDS conference he has been attending in Beijing. The headline reads: 'Clinton hugs AIDS boy'. The headline beneath the photo reads 'Survey of people who died from bone disease after SARS'.


Below is the front page of the second issue. The headline is much more local: "The 5th ring road toll might be lowered'. The photo shows a man reading the first issue of The Beijing News in front of Tiananmen. The caption claims that the first issue sold 530 thousand copies.


The Beijing News' website is here


Referring to the Beijing News' first issue, Mr Hu writes:

"Song Pengfei, the 22-year-old 'AIDS Boy', does not have have AIDS yet. He has been HIV-positive for 6 years, but thanks to cocktail therapy provided by US donors, he’s still AIDS-free. As a Person Living with HIV/AIDS (the pc term), he’s not just some kid with HIV, he is the most famous and influential HIV/AIDS sufferer in China. The government can barely stand him -- he’s someone they can neither afford to tolerate nor ignore. Anyhow, the photo is a total media coup because of his stature in China, of which Clinton was apparently totally oblivous. He’s like the Ryan White of China. Anyhow, the Chinese media’s 'AIDS Boy' moniker is getting a bit dated: he’s more like the AIDS Superhero."

If you are curious, the Phelex Foundation has archived several articles about Song Pengfei here.

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