If you would casually scan a few Chinese newspaper frontpages in the stall today, you will mostly see one exact headline, combined with two images. The New Express (新快报) newspaper from Guangzhou province is one example of the message that went out in China today. With a headline reading “The 17th CPC Central Committee holds 7th plenum”, the New Express front page includes a picture of Central Committee General Secretary Hu Jintao (who delivered an “important speech”) along with another image of the 7th plenum delegates raising their hands as if they are voting on something. The frontpages of all the newspapers closely related to the government today look like this. Yet if you look hard enough you’ll find a few other papers today with very different headlines and frontpages, like the 6 O’Clock This Morning from Shandong province, for example, who is one of the very few papers to go with the headline announcing Bo Xilai’s dismissal from the Party.
In a dress rehearsal for what is surely to follow the rest of this week when the all-important 18th Party Congress actually gets underway, here is a selection of the utterly uniform front pages today of the newspapers reporting on the 7th plenum:
If you look in-between all the scripted frontpages, however, you’ll find a few newspapers that have completely broken the mould:
A small number of frontpages today headlined the expulsion of Bo Xilai from the Party. The 6 O’Clock This Morning has the Bo story as its main headline, above an image of an engineering ship which ran into difficulties yesterday in heavy seas in the coastal areas of Qinhuangdao (秦皇岛) in Hebei province. The Modern Gold Express (现代金报) from Zhejiang province also has the Bo story as headline, along with a story of a few “most beautiful girls” (最美姑娘) who offer some advice on love and life.
The Chutian Express (楚天快报) from Hubei leads with the headline “Central media focuses on university students dropping out because of motherhood”. If you want to completely give any political issues a miss though, you may want to read the Manager’s Daily (经理日报), whose front page today discusses new regulations on water conservation, sewage management, and cement production. Alternatively there is the News Daily from Tianjin, which leads with a story about China’s carrier-based aircraft.
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