How media regulators learned to stop worrying about food safety and love the baozi


Breakfast of champion media regulators

China’s media authorities have used the cardboard baozi affair as an excuse to mess the media around and let reporters know who is boss – newspapers have been ordered to narrow their subject matter, and CCTV has purged itself of freelance contributors.

Journalist and blogger Wang Xiaofeng has written a brief response, translated roughly below:

The baozi oscillator

by Wang Xiaofeng

Every year, China has a flirtation with a country, called The Year of xxx in China.

Every year, there is a type of food that causes a big fuss. Last year was the year of the mantou [see this post about the spoof of Chen Kaige’s movie], this year it’s the year of the baozi.

Apparently, the after shocks of the baozi affair are still being felt, and will continue until the next type of food emerges.


The Beijing Daily Messenger (信报) will hereafter only report entertainment news, and lose its sports section.

The First (竞报) will hereafter only report sports news, and get rid of its culture section…

…I think Beijing Evening News (北京晚报) should hereafter only produce content about old people, in the evening of their lives.

Beijing Youth Daily (北京青年报) should only report about subjects connected to youth.

Beijing Morning Post (北京晨报) should only cover matters connected to the morning (such as breakfast baozi).

The Beijing News (新京报) should only cover ‘New Beijing, New Olympics’ content [the paper’s Chinese name is literally ‘New Beijing Newspaper’].

Beijing Times (京华时报) should only report on matters relating to Moment in Peking (京华烟云) [The first two characters of the name of Lin Yutang’s novel are the same as the first two characters of the newspaper’s name].

It seems that Beijing Daily (北京日报》will only be able to cover… [the word for day ‘日’ is also a slang word meaning fornicate].

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