We are going to China next Fall, so I thought I would try out the Shanghai Daily, an English newspaper published in China.
I actually quite like it. As I write this the massive earthquake is still the top news, so the paper is steeped in reporting death tolls, survivor stories, etc. I certainly have been getting a more in-depth look at the aftermath of the earthquake than I get on the 30 second sound clips on the local news.
What makes the paper 'interesting' is the editorial opinions. As you read these you realize that this paper must 'toe the line' with the ruling Communist Party.
For instance, several US newspapers had written that due to China's "one baby" rule (a family cannot have more than one child) many married couples who lost their one child in the earthquake are devasted by, not only due to their losing their only child, but, due to age, they can no longer have any more children. To face old age in China without children is unthinkable.
Yet the editorial piece in the Shanghai paper took the US papers to task, trying to be 'sarcastic', but with a noteable lack of success. The editor asked (paraphrase): "Are the US papers suggesting that the sense of loss to a Chinese parent is lessened if they have two children and lose only one; or have three children and yet lose only one; or have four...."(you get the drift; they went up to TEN children). The piece did not make a lot of sense (I know I am reporting the piece very poorly), but the editorial completely, and knowingly I bet, missed the whole point of the US articles. Never once did the editor address the fact that older women would not be able to have another child. Rather, the editorial ended up praising the one-child rule.
The paper is also interesting in how it reports the number of Chinese citizens thanking their leaders for all the help provided after the earthquake, or how a child in some province was urging people to donate 10 cents apiece; or how a businessman shamed his family by only offering 100,000 huan to the victims, representing only 1 percent of his wealth, etc.
The paper also reports US sports (it is a newspaper for people who speak English living in China, much like the Paris Tribune) and entertainment. It was rather a shock, in my first Kindle issue, to finish reading about the structural damage to various dams in western China, then 'flip' the page to see a headline about Angelina Jolie expecting twins.
I'm not sure why I am giving four stars rather than five. I guess because I sense I will probably grow tired of it after a while (especially after I return from China and the novelty has worn off).
Edited to Add: Another 'editorial' addressed some of the critics who say that the reason China's leaders have been so 'open' about the earthquake is because of the uncoming Olympics; that they feel pressure to be transparent about the earthquake, victims, etc. The person writing the editorial says that the critics are wrong! How did he prove this? He wrote (again, paraphrase from memory): "They are so wrong! I went to the Vice Premier of the People's Communist party and he assured me that the critics are wrong!" Ah, proof indeed!
Again, while many of the 'editorials' seem to have been written by High School students taking a journalism class, many of the news pieces are very, very information. Indeed, some of the news pieces about American politics are more informative than the sound bites we tend to get from our news sources.