Friday, 29 January 2016

Editor's Red-faced Blunder

Hu Xijin's latest blunder was publicly exposed in anti-graft campaign
Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of Global Times, both Chinese and English versions is an interesting character.

For starters he's journalist worth respecting -- he has covered wars in Bosnia and Iraq for People's Daily, though he's hardly a charismatic-looking fellow. He has a kind of bowl haircut and hardly dresses like an editor, wearing jeans from the 1980s and shirts with sleeves that are too long for his stocky body.

At Global Times his goal seems to be to whip up as much nationalistic fervor has possible, which works in certain circumstances (South China Sea, Taiwan).

But some people like the younger generation see through the provoking opinions and stories and find the Global Times the kind of paper that likes to create attention for itself is tiring and self-serving.

So does it come as a surprise that Hu was recently reprimanded for breaching Communist Party rules by using the newspaper's funds for personal travel?

He and his deputy were ordered to pay back 6,417.90 yuan and write a self-criticism for the party disciplinary team at the People's Daily, according to a statement from the paper.

It confirmed a rumour that circulated online in September that Hu had been punished for changing the schedule of a China-Germany media forum in June 2013, where he arranged for guests to travel to Poland for three days. His newspaper covered the expenses.

The rumours led to people mocking Hu for quickly criticizing others, and yet he himself does not set a good example.

The public punishment of Hu was part of a self-inspection campaign at the People's Daily, which began when it was being scrutinized by an inspection team from the Communist Party's anti-corruption agency from June to August last year.

So this time Hu lost some big face, but he will probably recover soon enough -- with his next breaking story.

Having been through war twice, Hu has a pretty thick skin, and will survive to live another day.

The Chinese government seems so keen on showing that the country has more than one story to tell, and when it comes to state media, it's the various shades of red...

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