Yanhuang Chunqiu Fights for Editorial Independence

Yanhuang Chunqiu Fights for Editorial Independence

The son of former party general secretary Hu Yaobang has taken over as publisher of liberal magazine Yanhuang Chunqiu, which has faced a number of challenges from authorities over the past year. Minnie Chan reports for the South China Morning Post:

The appointment of to oversee outspoken political magazine was the publication’s first step to fend off official moves to threaten its independence, outgoing publisher said yesterday.

Du, 91, said that Lu De, son of late vice-premier Lu Dingyi would be the magazine’s new deputy publisher and legal representative. Du would become an “honorary publisher”.

[…] “A consensus was finally reached: we should spare no effort to ensure our magazine survives,” Du said. “Our goal is to keep our editorial independence. We don’t want to be another political magazine like party mouthpiece Qiushi.”

Beijing-based political commentator Zhang Lifan said the magazine might try to use Hu and Lu’s princeling background and connections to gain more “political living space”.

Yanhuang Chunqiu has long had the support of retired high officials, giving it an unusual amount of independence, which editors have used to challenge the official line on historical events. In 2008, the magazine broke a propaganda taboo by publishing a favorable article about Zhao Ziyang. In response, authorities have taken steps over the years to rein in the publication. Last year, the website was shut down. Last month, the publication was required to switch its official affiliation to the Chinese National Academy of Arts, which is under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Culture, from the more independent Yan Huang Culture of China. Read more about Yanhuang Chunqiu, including a translated interview with co-founder Du Daozheng, via CDT.

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