Daisy, an editor from Esquire, a lifestyle magazine under South China media group in Hong Kong, disclosed in her blog that the top management banned the publication of 15 pages June 4th special feature in its latest issue. The top rank company staff, after looking at the layout, said the special feature is an act of “incitement” and told their staffs that they could resign if they disagreed. The whole process is very brutal. Below is a full translation of her blog post.
(Apology and Correction: Yesterday I mixed up SC Media group with SCMP when I submitted this post in the title. Although I edited it in less than 20mins, the feed have spread through twitter and re-tweeted by many others. Even though globabvoices has deleted the original tweet and put up a correction, we cannot control the re-tweeted messages, which appeared in the twitter search. So here, I made this public apology and correction again. All mistakes are mine and I will be more cautious in the future. )
A never to be published June 4th Special Issue
A few days ago, I was happy that I worked for a magazine that stressed diversity and tolerance.
It had been very difficult to design and work out a June 4th special issue, in particular for a lifestyle magazine. We could not compete with daily newspapers in political news and we wanted to avoid the cliche of calling for June 4th vindication. After many rounds of discussion, we finally decided on our orientation and worked it out.
We had our articles, photos and layout ready. We had even delivered the files to the printing company. But in the end, because of a phone call from our big boss, the whole special feature had to be taken away. Moreover, all articles in that issue which mentioned the word “June 4th” had to be amended. In three hours, the June 4th special issue was vanished, as if it had never been existed before.
The an upper rank company staff, who claimed to represent the company, summoned my colleague and me to the conference room. The meeting was very tense as if we had made some very huge mistake. That upper rank company representative took a copy of the special feature in her hand. The text was marked with highlighting pen here and there and she read aloud all the “problematic” sentences, then concluded that: “this is incitement”. She further explained that, the company did not need to explain to its staffs, if they didn't like the decision, they could resign. In the end, she asked for our opinion as if she was innocent of what she was doing.
What f__king opinion could we have. You are the boss and what you said would be done. She then pin pointed at me saying that I seems not to agree with the company standpoint. I am a worker, not your running dog, why should I stand with the company in all these bullshit affair? You have the right / power to ban the publication out of the company interest, you have the right to fire me, I have to right to quit, but you don't need to perform the literary inquisition, censor and mark every single word, telling us that they are incitement. This is Hong Kong, not mainland China. I dare to distribute this special feature under my real name in mainland China without the fear that they sentence me to death. How could you make us look like criminals who had committed capital punishment kind of crime.
To be frank, the articles and photos in this special feature is not very distinctive / outstanding and we have nothing new to disclose to the public. But I am frustrated.
This is too frightening. I used to feel that the next media group
was too one sided. Now I discover that it is probably the only media group left in Hong Kong dare to make noise.
This is too frightening. No one is here to take away our free press and free expression, it is our own media corporates giving that up because of commercial interest.
好可怕。從前覺得內地用強硬的手段，又捉又打又軟禁的，控制人們的言行，好可怕，之後感覺近年好像好了點，到奧運時又好像再好了一點。但現在，我發現，原來軟霸權更可怕，中國強大了，他們不必再用任 physically 的手法打壓人們，只要不讓你回國經商，那麼想賺錢的人們便會乖乖收聲。我感覺如此情況還將繼續發展，中國好野！
This is too frightening. In the past, I used to feel that in mainland China, they are hard handed in controlling people's thought and speech, by means of physical detention and threat. But in recent years, there was some improvements, in particular, during the Olympics, things looked better. Now, I discovered that soft power was even more terrible. China is strong now, they don't need to use physical means to repress people, they could just close the door to your business. Those who want to make money would then shut up automatically. Such kind of situation will continue for sure, China is great!
2009年5月26日，《君子雜誌》的 143 至 156 頁被他們抽走了，但他們不能在日曆上抽了六月四日。感謝歷史讓我們看清商人的真貌。
On 26th of May 2009, Esquire took away page 143-156, but they could not take away June 4th in the calendar. Thanks history for letting us to understand the true nature of our corporate men.
South China Media group
Under the SC media group, there are a number of lifestyles and entertainment magazines including: Jessica, marie claire, HIM, Esquire, CarPlus, Xp weekly, 3 weekly, Capital Weekly, Capital Money, Capital, Capital CEO, Capital Entrepreneur and SC kid.
SC media is a subsidiary of South China Holding Limited, which is an investment holding company with subsidiaries involved in investment, financial services, media, and the manufacture of shoes, toys and micro-motors.