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Number 1 Shimbun

Letter from the Publications Committee

Letter from the Publications Committee

This year marks the 50th anniversary of No. 1 Shimbun. While the publications committee still hasn't set an editorial schedule for 2018, we would like to share with our readers the magazine's mission statement written by its first editor, John Roderick, an AP legendary reporter who is pictured on the lobby wall with Mao Zedong.

In No. 1 Shimbun's inaugural issue in September 1968, Roderick initiated a policy for members to write letters to the editor about issues of importance to them. We will reinstitute that policy. Please submit letters if you have something you wish to share.

Also, please propose articles you may wish to write for the magazine and we promise to respond. We are looking for writers. All members are encouraged to participate.

And as always, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please email us anytime at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


A quotation from the editor

"Newspapers must not be run behind closed doors. They
must face the masses, and must have the general orientation
and at the same time be fresh and lively."

This quotation is neither from Lord Thomson of Fleet nor from the late, great Joseph Pulitzer, though it might have been. In fact, it comes from an acquaintance of my Yenan cave days, Mao Tse-tung.

The Chinese Communist chairman conceivably may be wrong on some matters, but what he said about newspapers is wonderfully relevant to No. 1 Shimbun, the first edition of which you now hold in your hands.

The editors will strive to make it "fresh and lively" each month while resolutely facing the proletarian masses of Babasaki-mon.

The Chairman, chock-a-block full of useful quotes, had another on newspapers to the effect that "we must rely on everybody, on the masses of the people... not merely on a few persons working behind closed doors."

And that's where you, gentle reader, come in. Faithful servants of the Chairman, and more important, lazy critters that we are, we will regularly call on you to give us a hand. No slaving away alone behind closed doors for us!

No. 1 Shimbun's aim is to report on the comings and goings of correspondents, their problems in covering major news stories, the professional activities they sponsor and how they feel (in letters to the exalted editor) on issues big and small.

In the wildly remote likelihood that Club associates also make news, we also will report these. More important, perhaps, will be the contributions by member correspondents of articles they have written on a variety of subjects. You will read some of them today, ranging from a report from Mongolia to the foreignization of Japanese.

Our idea is to give other Club members a chance to read, appraise, enjoy the journalistic accomplishments of our brethren; for many of us, it will be a first glimpse.

It seems appropriate to close this introductory column with a quotation from the other side, President Liu Shao-chi. "Correspondents," he said, "should be given recognition and recompense or else their iniative will be stifled."

When’s the next train for Peking?



Published in: January 2018

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