Outspoken magazine verges on collapse
The sacking of its editor and a change in editorial policy has put an outspoken magazine on the verge of collapse and forced a two-week delay in the publication of its February edition.
Magazine sources said the monthly Bai Xing, or People, had put off releasing this month's edition until February 10 because contributors had stopped sending submissions since the sacking of chief editor Huang Liangtian late last year after it published a series of investigative stories on land seizures and mass social unrest. More than 10 of the magazine's reporters and editors have left and the number of subscribers has dropped from 27,000 to about 17,000.
The sources said international attention following Mr Huang's departure had sent tremors through the country's propaganda system and the Central Propaganda Department had suggested it would keep the magazine going to try to deflect public attention.
One of the three remaining editors said the new chief editor, Li Wei, stayed within the boundaries of state propaganda and engaged in self-censorship. 'So it's very difficult to create a new edition of Bai Xing now that its editorial policy has undergone such radical change.'
Mr Huang said: 'It's heartbreaking to see Bai Xing collapse. It's the worst result and I never expected to see it.'