The Hot Zone
China's newly announced air defense identification zone over the East China Sea aims to shore up national security
Current Issue
· Table of Contents
· Editor's Desk
· Previous Issues
· Subscribe to Mag
Subscribe Now >>
Expert's View
Market Watch
North American Report
Government Documents
Expat's Eye
Photo Gallery
Reader's Service
Learning with
'Beijing Review'
E-mail us
RSS Feeds
PDF Edition
Reader's Letters
Make Beijing Review your homepage
Hot Links

cheap eyeglasses
Market Avenue

Golden Memories
Special> 50th Anniversary of Beijing Review> Golden Memories
UPDATED: March 22, 2008  
After Our Birthday Celebrations
By Wang Youfen

Beijing Review has just celebrated its 30th birthday.

In China, the age of 30 is considered to be extremely important in a person's life. There is an old saying, san shi er li. That means a man is expected to establish himself by the age of 30, Beijing Review is now 30 years old. Whether it has established itself, I'll leave to our readers to judge. What I would like to say is this: Over the past 30 years, Beijing Review has certainly matured.

Beijing Review appeared only in English when it was published in March 1958. Now, it has grown into five editions: English, French, Spanish, Japanese and German.

In the first eight years or so, the magazine put a lot of stress on factual reporting. It was New China's first weekly journal offering Chinese news and views to foreign audiences. It served as a tool of communication with the outside world when the need for information and messages from China had become increasingly urgent. In a sense, we were the harbingers of China's opening up.

At the initial stage, many of us worked with great enthusiasm but were rather inexperienced as journalists. I still remember some of our exaggerated or even false reports during the years of the "great leap forward" in the late 1950s, such as stories about paddy-fields with an annual yield of 75,000 kilogrammes per hectare, and a news report about pig farmers who succeeded in making the animal grow much faster by cutting off its ears. Nevertheless, Beijing Review staff tried very hard to learn the best traditions of Chinese journalism and apply them in their work. In a few years the journal won worldwide recognition as an important source of information on China.

During its early years, Beijing Review played a positive role in promoting understanding and goodwill by providing timely information on the latest developments in China as well as its policies and views on major domestic and international issues. For example, our magazine was one of the very few Chinese sources available to Americans during those years of estrangement and animosity between the two countries. Many thousands of them came to understand China through Beijing Review, and some of them later played a role in improving Sino-U.S. relationships.

Then came the "cultural revolution." Many honest journalists at Beijing Review, as elsewhere in China, became targets of attack. Most of them were dismissed from their posts and sent to the countryside to do farm work. The magazine was in the hands of young rebels who knew little about politics or journalism. Moreover, political circumstances were such that it was only logical for many mistaken theories and ideas to find their way into Beijing Review and spread beyond China's borders, thus doing a disservice to our readers. One of the uses people can now make of the Beijing Review of that period is in the study of those 10 chaotic years.

After the downfall of the gang of four in 1976, Beijing Review was gradually brought onto the right track. "Seeking truth from facts" has been restored as the guideline for our work, and objective reporting has once again been given priority. During past several years, China's reforms in the economic, political and other fields, and the process of China's opening up have become the central themes in our coverage. Our writers are required to report not only on what has been achieved, but also on the problems and difficulties China now faces. Instead of painting everything in rosy colors, they are encouraged to present a more balanced picture that reflects the real China with all the complexities of its ongoing experimentation.

Another aspect of our effort consists in modifying and diversifying our different language editions. Since what interests third world readers may not appeal to people in the West, and vice versa, we are now paying more attention to the different needs of different regions and groups of people. That is why we have recently launched a North American edition and the French-language monthly Chinafrique, which is oriented towards African readers.

Given the several thousand newspapers and periodicals in China, we must try to do a better job of reprinting or excerpting from them some of the most important, relevant and enlightening articles. At the same time, we will strive to do more interviews, news stories and special reports that are of topical interest to our readers. And we must also try to improve our presentation.

Now that the anniversary celebrations are over, I would like to take this opportunity to extend our warm greetings and thanks to all institutions and individuals who have sent us their congratulations, as well as to all the readers who have written to us over the years. We are looking forward to more criticisms and suggestions as we strive to make Beijing Review an even better magazine—a magazine that is more informative, more authoritative and easier to understand.

The author is the chief executive of Beijing Review

(This article appears on page 4, VOL.31, NO.11 MARCH 14-20, 1988)

Top Story
-Protecting Ocean Rights
-Partners in Defense
-Fighting HIV+'s Stigma
-HIV: Privacy VS. Protection
-Setting the Tone
Most Popular
About BEIJINGREVIEW | About beijingreview.com | Rss Feeds | Contact us | Advertising | Subscribe & Service | Make Beijing Review your homepage
Copyright Beijing Review All right reserved