A veteran editor of the outspoken China Youth Daily has taken the newspaper’s editor-in-chief to task for allegedly restraining editorial freedom and succumbing to party dogma.
In a high-profile move, Li Datong , who edits the Bingdian Weekly, an influential section of the paper that runs investigative stories every Wednesday, wrote an open letter to the paper’s staff questioning a new appraisal system which pegs journalists’ bonuses to praise by party and government leaders.
ESWN has translated Li Datong’s full letter. The original Chinese version is available here. A working Chinese journalist, Shiniankanchai, has commented on this issue in a blog post titled “ÂÖ≥Ê≥®‰∏≠ÈùíÊä•ÂëΩËøêÂ∞±ÊòØÂÖ≥Ê≥®Ëá™Â∑±“ (“Concern for the China Youth Daily is Concern for One’s Self.”) Anti, another working journalist, has also blogged a lively discussion and commentary on this event. Lawyer Pu Zhiqiang posted Li Datong’s letter on Yannan.cn, an online academic publication. The letter was subsequently removed, but another web user, Nuannuanyu, took a snapshot of the original post, and posted it on Anti’s blog.
See also a letter from CYD photography director He Yanguang to the paper’s management lodging his protest against the paper’s current editorial control.
UPDATE: This topic on the web, via Google News.
From the SCMP article:
When contacted by the South China Morning Post, Li Datong said he had written the letter on behalf of the paper’s editorial staff but declined to comment.
“This is an internal letter I wrote for the editorial department and the management. But somehow it was leaked,” he said.
The regulation, to be introduced on August 20, will provide guidelines for the rating of reporters’ remuneration based on the “credits” they receive on each article they write…
A reporter with the newspaper said management had yet to formally respond to the letter, believed to have been written last week.
“What matters the most isn’t our salary, but our editorial freedom,” said the reporter, who declined to be named.