Why You Should Care About Caijing

by Noam Scheiber | October 15, 2009

My introduction to the magazine Caijing came while I was researching this recent piece about our economic relationship with China. It's probably the most influential Chinese business magazine and has become a prominent sign of the regime's tolerance of criticism on the economic front. (See my piece for more on that if you're interested.)

Anyway, it sounds like we may be at a bit of a crossroads in the life of the magazine--and also the broader policy of allowing this form of government scrutiny. From Tuesday's Times:

Caijing, a respected Chinese business magazine, has been thrown into turmoil after a dispute over its editorial policy and business governance led to the resignation of 11 high-ranking executives and nearly 70 other workers from the business staff, according to people close to the magazine.

The magazine’s general manager, its top advertising executive and the head of its conference unit are among those who have submitted resignation letters. And Hu Shuli, considered the most powerful business editor in China, may be forced to resign from the magazine, which is based in Beijing.

The dispute threatens to dismantle one of the country’s leading media properties, a thriving magazine published twice a month that specializes in investigating government corruption and corporate fraud. Caijing also has partnerships with The Wall Street Journal and Reuters.

For months, Ms. Hu, who as the magazine’s managing editor is its top editorial employee, and the magazine’s business managers have been locked in a struggle with Caijing’s owners over the magazine’s editorial policy, according to former employees and current staff members who asked not to be named because they feared for their jobs.

The owners of the magazine have recently come under pressure from some within the government to tone down or drastically alter Caijing’s aggressive journalism, people at the magazine say. Caijing’s managers have told staff members that they have been fighting to maintain the magazine’s editorial integrity.

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