Tạp chí FEER đã đóng cửa
A A+
Tạp chí FEER đã đóng cửa

Asian publishing

Far Eastern Economic Review RIP

Sep 23rd 2009
From The Economist print edition

A monthly attempt to pierce Asia’s mysteries is lost


ASIA, short enough already of sources of regional news and comment, just became even shorter of them. On September 22nd Dow Jones, an American publisher, issued an Orwellian release, announcing that this December it would close the Far Eastern Economic Review in order to “catapult the company’s growth in the burgeoning Asian marketplace”.

The Review may have been guilty of many sins, but not convoluted corporate gobbledygook. Quite the opposite: though it suffered from all of the usual scourges besetting the media industry, such as declining circulation and advertising, it was famous for calling it as it saw it. Sadly, that has often been a mixed blessing in Asia, since the readers hungriest for such candour often occupied countries whose governments felt differently. The Review is currently banned in Singapore, a status it has often enjoyed in the past. No such formal injunction exists against the Review in China, but almost every issue is blocked. In the past, it has had its correspondents jailed in Malaysia and Singapore, and prodded and bumped or tossed by the region’s numerous authoritarian regimes.

From its beginnings, the Review always tiptoed along a difficult political and financial tightrope. The founding editor, Eric Halpern, was among the many Jews stranded in Shanghai during the second world war, who then relocated the publication under threat of civil war to Hong Kong in 1946. He was famous for wearing a Burmese longyi around the office. He left it draped carefully across the back of his chair for his successor, who inherited a paper said to be breaking even, “but not published for profit.”

Early on, much of the content was devoted to rare, if dry, data on the region. In the 1970s it began a protracted expansion, hiring a network of Asian correspondents bigger than any media outlet apart from the news wires.Review veterans went on to staff every other English-language media outlet in the region. Emblematic of its coverage was said to be the last story on the fall of South Vietnam, sent by Nayan Chanda (subsequently the editor) who famously kept typing until a tank burst through the gates of the presidential palace; Saigon was truly captured.

If the Review’s coverage was first rate, its business operations were less so, most famously in 1988, when Dow Jones swapped a large stake in the South China Morning Post, soon to be the most profitable newspaper in the world, for Rupert Murdoch’s share of the magazine. It was a disastrous swap. Profits at the magazine, never large, were soon to decline. There was a brief secondary boom in the mid-1990s, but then hard times. Paradoxically, as every country in Asia has grown and their economies have become more distinct, the ability to sell advertising regionally has shrunk.

In 2004 the Review closed as a weekly and reopened as a monthly, with lengthy pieces by professors, analysts, economists, bankers, diplomats, anyone, in short, who had a very deep knowledge of some aspect of Asia. It was a product treasured by some, but not enough, and rarely discarded, except, evidently, by Mr Murdoch, who has now done so twice. Death, however, has hovered too closely over the Review too many times for its loyal readers to abandon all hope now.


Nguồn: http://www.economist.com/world/asia/displayStory.cfm?story_id=14492327&source=hptextfeature

Views: 1584 - Like: 0