Chinese Editors at Work

Shanghai Native Dailies Keep their Readers Posted.

Boston Herald

When the managing editor of a Chinese daily reaches his office, at four o'clock in the afternoon, he has perhaps less trouble than foreigners in that station, but quite enough to interfere with the placid enjoyment of the cup of tea that awaits him, and to make him wish that his superior talent had been employed in some line less bothersome. He has no occasion to look over misprints of type or matter crowded out or omitted, on any account, for he has himself been on duty until six o'clock in the morning, and knows every tooth point of the night's harrow; but he must reckon with his contemporaries, which give him concern that he feels to be ill compensated by a salary equivalent to one gold dollar per day.

He is to the chief editor, who flashes off ideas that he is expected to phrase into the leading article; and to the proprietor, who moves in high society and has diversified political, commercial, and social interests, which must be respected in every line of the paper, and who is never pleased unless he has not only all the news that others print, but some striking feature besides. If the paper falls short of the expectations of the chief editor or the proprietor, the managing editor is fined from a day's to a week's pay. Consequently he holds the office force—the correspondents and the reporters—to strict account, and altogether the counting room derives quites an income from fines, and all hands manage to keep fairly deep in debt.

Must we Lose our Birds?
April 4, 1901

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