Editor Departs China Magazine After High-Profile Tussle (Updated)

Jonathan Ansfield reports for the New York Times on Hu Shuli’s plans following her departure from Caijing, following the recent upheaval at the well-respected financial magazine:

In a well-publicized exodus earlier this autumn, nearly 70 business employees resigned. Ms. Hu held on until Monday.

She has now accepted a new post as the dean of the journalism school at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, a job she had been offered before it became clear that she would leave Caijing.

At the same time, she, along with a large contingent of editors and executives departing Caijing, was working to secure new licenses and open a new venture, said the employees, who had knowledge of the plans but were not authorized to speak publicly about them.

Caijing’s parent company, the State Exchange Executive Council, or S.E.E.C., had already recruited a new team of editors from another progressive publication, The Economic Observer in Beijing, they said.

Read also a report from the Guardian and Time Magazine.

Update: Danwei translates a post from blogger He Caitou about Hu’s departure:

Hu Shuli’s resignation totally kills off the possibility of the style of news that would kill her off. The media has its own life force and free will, and the power that once protected and supported it may in the end turn into an obstructive force. And this test of strengths is no purely capital operation or business transformation; what lies behind is something far more complicated that the norms of an industry can tolerate. A model in which media professionals provide knowledge services in return for limited, conditional cooperation cannot be sustained for very long. Within this model, the passage of time and the accumulation of profit will cause both sides to feel that they’ve put in an unfair share, and that the opposite side has contributed nothing substantial. There will always come a day to fight over “who has the final say,” but the victor was decided upon on the day the partnership was set up. Good business, a professional team, and high-quality news content may make it seem like this was a media outlet operating under a free market system. It looked like it could really continue to develop and become an independent media entity that could possibly go public. At issue: Who started this game? Who decided upon the rules?

See also Xinhua’s minimalist announcement of Hu’s resignation.

November 9, 2009 12:14 PM
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