Planet China

Toying with the minister

Toying with the minister

Who was the youngest journalist at this year’s 18th Party Congress in Beijing? Step forward, precocious cub reporter Zhang Jiahe, aged 11. Zhang attracted attention this week at a news conference held by the Minister of Housing and Urban Rural Development, Jiang Weixin, reports the China Daily. A journalist with Chinese Teenager News (a publication new to WiC but now firmly on our radar screen), Zhang raised his hand to pose the minister a question. Sadly, he seems to have forgotten the first rule of journalism. Rather than ask a question, he made all too clear his own opinion. The assembled media heard him tell the minister: “Nowadays, houses are so expensive that many parents spend all their money on buying apartments and even borrow lots of money from banks. They don’t even have extra money to buy toys for their kids.” Zhang’s remark may indicate where the editorial priorities of Chinese Teenage News lie, but may suggest too that the next generation of journalists could prove less deferential to government figures…

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