Swimsuit contest to enter college


Chutian Jinbao,

Today the front page of Hubei newspaper Chutian Jinbao is a hodgepodge of news, a wonderful snapshot of contemporary China:

10,000 officials to go to 10,000 villages and 10,000 homes

The top headline describes a new program of the Hubei provincial government: officials plan to visit rural and urban households to check on the people’s situation and listen to their concerns.

This seems to be part of a nationwide move for the government to be or seem to be more responsive to citizen concerns (see also Wen Jiabao’s chat with netizens). While such efforts are not new, there does seem to be an increase in media reports about such citizen outreach programs, possibly connected to the protests in the Middle East and the so far unheeded calls for similar demonstrations in China.

Bikini beauty contest to enter college

The large photo is captioned: “Performance major competition: 
Yesterday, there was a lively atmosphere at the entrance tests for modeling and design majors at the Hubei Institute of Fine Arts…

… More than 400 middle school students from across the nation took part in the competition for 24 places.”

Bikini beauty competitions seem to be catching on as a form of entrance examination: this gallery of photos of a similar college course entrance competition in Qingdao has been circulating widely on the Internet since it was published a few weeks ago.

March 15, Consumer Day

The smaller pink headline announces that Chutian Jinbao’s Consumer Day activity is starting. March 15 is a date that large companies that sell consumer products in China have grown to hate: newspapers and TV programs use the date to organize investigations into companies suspected of harming consumers.

Although there is plenty of legitimate consumer activism, some media have the reputation of using threats of negative Consumer Day coverage to extort advertising fees from companies.

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