English Channel > Rediscovering China

English-language Newspapers and Magazines

CCTV.COM (08.18 2003 23:04)

    In a country where 1.3 billion people speak only Chinese, how do the foreigners get the necessary information, such as where to eat, where to live and how to get the needed health care services?

    During the week, foreigners have their work to attend to. Their co-workers generally have a good command of English, and thus getting through the work day is not a problem.

    In the past, most foreigners came to China for sightseeing or business activities, usually staying at designated hotels and apartments for a short time, far removed from the lives of regular Beijingers

    With more foreigners choosing to stay in China for longer periods of time, it goes without saying that they are getting involved with nearly every aspects of Chinese life.

    Walking along almost any street in China, you're bound to see a newsstand packed with English-language newspapers and magazines. They sell quite quickly and appeal to foreigners and Chinese alike.

    The China Daily is the first and the only national English-language daily newspaper in China. Readers can know Chinese politics, economics, culture and society. It is issued in more than 150 countries and regions, regarded as the authoritative voice in China.

    The China Daily was founded in 1981, a product of the country's reform and opening up. The initial 8 page edition has become a 12 page edition, and the paper has steadfastly stuck to the principal laid down at its very beginning: Help the world to better understand China.

    The China Daily Newspaper Group includes the China Daily and other renown English-language newspapers, such as 21st Century; 21st Century School Edition, Business Weekly; the Shanghai Star; Beijing Weekend and the China Daily Hong Kong Edition.

    Readership of the China Daily is comprised of three groups: the first being foreigners now living in China such as business people, diplomats or students; also, people overseas who are interested in China, and finally an ever-growing number of Chinese readers.

    Beijing Weekend began publication in 1991 as an English-language weekly paper that covers culture, travel, entertainment and city services, targeting foreign readers in Beijing and other provinces.

    First published in 1993, 21st Century has by far the largest circulation and the widest reach of publications of this type around the country. It is mainly geared to accommodating the country's English learners.

    The Shanghai Star is the city's first English-language newspaper since the founding of the People's Republic in 1949. Many of its readers are white-collar workers and expatriates.

    Many websites are established to serve the needs of the international community in China and its Chinese and foreign participants. Foreigners can meet the cyber communities to gather information, discuss things, share experiences or seek help. Thus, their stays in China can be more comfortable and fulfilling, while their communications with the Chinese people and their colleagues will be improved has grown into an influential source for people inside and outside of China.

    Editors of the English-language newspapers and magazines are mainly Chinese, with some foreigners who are responsible for proofreading and correcting the mistakes .

    A visitor to the copy department of the That's Magazines will quickly notice that most of the editors are foreigners. Their style of dress and manner of speech are a unique feature of the department.

    Foreign and Chinese editors of the Shanghai Star often have discussions like these to share their opinions on the layout and content of the newspaper. For foreign readers, working in this new and exciting media environment is a challenge.

    During noon breaks, editors from the China Daily will play Pingpong to relax. The newspaper holds regular competitions to give employees a well-deserved break from work and encourage their development in other areas.

    As a fast-growing international metropolis, Official statistics show that Shanghai has approved thousands of overseas-financed enterprises, foreigners living in Shanghai now number about 60,000 to 70,000, and the figure is growing rapidly. In line with this trend, more and more English-language magazines are published in China.

    The publication history of the That's Magazines is quite complicated. At one time, they were even called illegal publications. Yet these magazines meet the needs of expatriates in China better than any other publications.

    Now, in Beijing, people can also find magazines such as City Weekend, Business Beijing, and China Business.

    Some of the English-language newspapers and magazines specialize in a certain field, mainly economics and trade. They help readers with accurate statistics, expert advice and business opportunities.

    China Trade News, a weekly English newspaper, supervised by the China Council for Promotion of International Trade, is the only authoritative newspaper specializing in foreign trade and economic cooperation.

    Editors in this crowded and simple copy department collect and publicize trade and economic information.

    Since 2001, it has been the designated newspaper for the Canton Fair鈥攚hich is a Chinese export commodities Fair.

    Since its inauguration in the spring of 1957, the Canton Fair continues to be held twice yearly. It is China's largest trade fair, and boasts the largest attendance and business turnover. This Fair is a comprehensive and multi-functional event of international importance

    Starting in January 2001, Business Weekly has become relatively independent of the regular China Daily newspaper. It focuses on in-depth reporting of the economic sector.

    These English-language newspapers and magazines guide foreigners to Chinese culture and entertainment, and provide them with information concerning leisure activities, such as health care services, travel, eating and shopping.

    For many foreigners, a good way to spend an evening is to go out drinking with some friends at a bar. For those who go alone, English-language magazines and newspapers help kill the time; strangers can often find topics to discuss.

    In hotels and hospitals, English-language booklets, newspapers and magazines are the first opportunity foreigners have to get to know China better.

    At the airport or on a plane, passengers can choose to read either English-language or Chinese newspapers. The availability of these also becomes a criterion to judge the service of the airline.

    You may never feel regret for throwing an old newspaper away. Yet much effort has been put into it before being delivered into the hands of readers.

    Although this publishing house is well-lit, it is about one o'clock in the morning. In the noisy workshop, the Shanghai Star is being printed.

    In the early morning hours, newspapers will be sent to the post office and then delivered into the hands of readers.

    The China Daily has more than one way to deliver their newspapers. Besides sending the paper through the post office, the newspaper also uses a car to personally deliver their publication to hotels and airports.

    People can get these English-language magazines free of charge. Such magazines as City Weekend and That's Beijing, sometimes even the newspaper Beijing Weekend, can be had in the bars, hotels and restaurants. Then what is the top secret for their survival?

    Opening one of these magazines, readers can see well-designed advertisements鈥攖he main source of income for maintaining the operation and development of the publication.

    Wu Qiang, a restaurant owner, visits the office of That's Shanghai to discuss in detail his advertisement. He admits that his advertisement in the magazine has promoted his business.

    Move2Beijing is a real estate agency. They regularly place ads in That's Beijng. The English-language advertisement has attracted not a few foreign clients.

    April, with the help of an English-language magazine, gets the telephone number of Move2Beijing and is successful in finding an apartment to rent.

    The target buyers of these English-language newspapers and magazines are not only foreigners. Many Chinese choose them as a convenient way to improve their English and get related information.

    In university libraries, it is quite common to see readers browsing English-language newspapers and magazines. Students look up new words and make notes. Apparently, they see the publications as a way to learn English.

    At the Fourth Middle School in Beijing, many classes organize newspaper discussions where students take the initiative to use a newspaper to practice their English.

    In An'hui province, some middle school teachers have adopted 21st Century as a creative and interesting way to stimulate their students' interest in studying English.

    The number of English newspapers and magazines is closely associated with the level of development of a certain region. In those areas where economic activities are active, the number of foreigners is large, they tend to have more such publications.

    Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou are the three areas in China with the highest concentration of foreigners. Thus these three cities have the largest number of English-language newspapers and magazines.

    Recently in China's western provinces and regions, English newspapers have also begun to appear, such as Chengdu Weekly.

    With the development of Chinese economy, people will see more English-language newspapers and magazines in China.


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