Caijing (财经)
July 26, 2009 8:39 PM   Subscribe

Caijing (财经) is an independent, Beijing-based magazine devoted to reporting on business in China. The publication's title means "Finance and Economics."

Periodical China has suggested 3 key factors that have made Caijing successful. The first is investigative reports, the second is the unique perspective of commentaries, the third is Caijing's three guiding principles-independence, uniqueness and exclusiveness... (However) how much freedom exists in the current Chinese press market for a magazine with such liberal reporting remains questionable.

Hu Shuli, the founding editor of the biweekly magazine, was once suspended from a reporting job in 1989 because of her sympathy for the Tiananmen Square demonstrations, yet she has cultivated first-name familiarity with some of China’s most powerful Party leaders. Since 1998, when she established Caijing, she has guided the magazine with near-perfect pitch for how much candor and provocation the regime will tolerate.

From a recent article in Caijing about increasing social unrest in China: Mass incidents are breaking out all over China, but the causes are specific, the threat to government is limited and the solutions are within reach
posted by KokuRyu (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Just read that New Yorker piece in the print edition. Fascinating insight into China's deliberate fuzziness about what, exactly, is allowed in the press and what isn't. Caijing is obviously doing real journalism and doing it, often, very well, but they do so constantly second guessing themselves as to whether any given article (or even cover photograph) is "over the line" or not. It's a great demonstration of the ways in which most censorship ends up being preemptive self-censorship.
posted by yoink at 8:45 PM on July 26, 2009

"Ca-ching", more like it.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:55 PM on July 26, 2009

I read this in the dead trees, too. Really interesting story. The most interesting thing, to me, was wondering how much of what she told The New Yorker was true, and how much of it was spin.

I think the impression that her side of the story was less than 100% honest and forthright was the authors intent, but it really got you wondering what the story is, deep down.
posted by paisley henosis at 11:10 PM on July 26, 2009

Unfortunately not seen the full New Yorker piece about Ms Hu, so not sure if it mentions rumour has it she is has significant backing from senior Party figures who understand that successful enterprise needs accurate information. No idea personally whether that's just a logical conclusion drawn from Caijing's track record or actual insider knowledge.
I've translated articles for their English edition (though not for some while). One thing that always exercises me putting writing like theirs into English is conveying the significance of some of the institutional detail that a savvy Chinese readership well used to taking what's hinted (necessarily only hinted or it wouldn't get written at all) between the lines picks up on but depends on a knowledge that you can't always make explicit without doubling the length of the text adding background information of your own.
posted by Abiezer at 2:44 AM on July 27, 2009

not sure if it mentions rumour has it she is has significant backing from senior Party figures

They outline some of the specific early relationships she made with people who now occupy senior Party positions. The strong implication is that she couldn't do what she does if some powerful people weren't backing her to a point. They also make it pretty clear that she doesn't have carte blanche. I think the really interesting point they make is that it's not as if she can just call up X or Y person and say "so, can I run this story?" She in the position of knowing that she has support, but not knowing exactly how far that support extends. A fascinating piece of tightrope walking.
posted by yoink at 8:58 AM on July 27, 2009

fwiw, andy xie is worth reading :P

posted by kliuless at 7:34 PM on July 27, 2009

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