In order to commemorate an official day of mourning for the victims of the recent flooding and landslide disaster in Zhouqu County, Gansu Province, Chinese media today produced various black-and-white layouts.
The official People’s Daily newspaper changed its masthead to black from the usual red, but did place a color photograph at center of President Hu Jintao greeting the Foreign Assistance Work Team. The story at top-right, to the side of the masthead, is about today’s mourning for Zhouqu.

[People’s Daily, August 15, 2010.]

By contrast, Southern Metropolis Daily, a commercial spin-off of Guangdong’s official Nanfang Daily, devotes the entire front page to the Zhouqu commemoration, with words of commiseration and a large image.

[Southern Metropolis Daily, August 15, 2010.]

The following is the front page of Zhengzhou Daily, the official party newspaper of top leaders in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province. The article directly beneath the black masthead is about Zhouqu and the commemoration. The rest of the page deals with official business, including the demolition of “illegal [residential housing] structures” and propaganda czar Li Changchun’s pronouncements on “cultural development.”

[Zhengzhou Daily, August 15, 2010.]

Below is the homepage of, one of China’s leading Internet portal sites:

[, August 15, 2010.]

David Bandurski

CMP Director

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