Dancers on the cover of Beijing newspapers on a slow news day

Front page of The Beijing News

Papers in Beijing are generally thinnest on Sundays. The Beijing News, for example, which had 104 pages on Friday plus an 8-page World Cup supplement, had just 32 pages in its two main sections on Sunday. A one-off special 32-page football supplement doubled the paper's normal volume.

The Sunday TBN usually has an international focus, with columns written by Chinese scholars-in-residence at American universities, international political cartoons, and a "Globe" section that features sometimes-uncredited translations of reports from the world press.

Front page of China Times

Interesting about today's selection of papers was the fact that three of them - TBN, China Times, and Beijing Times - chose to forgo disasters and football to run photos of a relatively insignificant Saturday event, the launch of the Beijing Fat Person's Club at the Botanical Gardens.

China Times clocked in at 24 pages today, two-thirds of which were devoted to the World Cup. The "1000-pound Dancing Troupe," a group of four women from Nanjing, appears only on the front page; unlike the other two papers, CT did not provide any text apart from a brief caption.

Front page of Beijing Times

The club, which will conduct a beauty contest in September, is intended to provide a creative outlet for overweight Beijing residents who are often turned away from participating in other public performances of singing and dancing.

Oddly, for such an small piece of news, there is significant variance between the version reported in The Beijnig News and that in Beijing Times. TBN is fairly upbeat - it quotes a Mr. Yang, representing a sponsoring organization, as saying the club already has over one thousand members. BJT, on the other hand, paints a more dismal picture - the paper quotes one Tao Xue, representative of on of the sponsors, who said that membership is just over 100, of which only three or four came to the activity.

Front page of Beijing Youth Daily.

Beijing Youth Daily and its stable of papers chose different front page photos. BYD ran a photo of a rail line to Fuzhou that had collapsed because of heavy rains.

Of the remaining Beijing papers, Beijing Morning Post ran a photo of a grounded Korean plane, The First featured a picture of repairs to the Badaling section of the Great Wall, and Beijing Daily Messenger ran a photo of a drum performance celebrating Cultural Heritage Day.

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Comments on Dancers on the cover of Beijing newspapers on a slow news day

I sympathize - here in the midwest, we got an above-the- fold story on a duck who pined away and died after the death of his long-time companion...

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