Don’t Blame the Editor

Source: PEKING REVIEW Vol.1 No.4, March 25, 1958

Transcribed for

A letter to the editor of Renmin Ribao and the editor’s reply appeared on the back page of the paper on March 18 under the head “Is Anyone to Blame?” The letter was from the author of an article published in a previous issue of the paper. He had been criticized by his colleagues for not being up-to-date with his figures and he appealed to the editor.

In his article he had cited “trains pulling 3,000 tons” but by the time it appeared in print the figure had shot up to 4,000. Then the newspaper was to blame, the author’s friends decided, because it lagged behind developments. In these fast-moving days, they said, the newspapers must keep pace too, like everybody else. In this vein, the correspondent wrote to the editor.

In his reply, the editor agreed. He said that newspapers in China must indeed “take bold leaps forward,” so as to reflect developments in time. But if they fail, in one instance or another, it only proves the maxim that events move faster than thoughts, that China is going forward at a terrific clip, which is nothing to complain about.

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