In his preface, He Xuefeng explores the origins and shape of China’s burgeoning interest in editorial writing, specifically the trend of current affairs editorial writing at major newspapers across the country. His preface begins: At the dawn of this new century, Southern Metropolis Daily’s inception and continued expansion of its commentary section was a sign of things to come. Newspapers all over the country then vied to create their own commentary sections, which precipitated all at once what has been called China’s third “wave of current affairs commentary.” The mushrooming of these editorial sections is doubtless a bright spot in the development of Chinese media. Moreover, the unflagging participation of Web users and the public [in this process] and new alliances between newspapers and public intellectuals demonstrates that Chinese society yearns for and is capable of expression, so that some have talked of the arrival of an “age of citizen writing” to describe this phenomenon. So, what are the characteristics of this “age of citizen writing”? What is its relationship to the rise and popularity of the current affairs editorial? And what will its impact be on China’s future? [LINK HERE]
Now director of the CMP, leading the project’s research and partnerships, David joined the team in 2004 after completing his master’s degree at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He is currently an honorary lecturer at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre. He is the author of Dragons in Diamond Village (Penguin/Melville House), a book of reportage about urbanization and social activism in China, and co-editor of Investigative Journalism in China (HKU Press).