The Beijing Youth Daily is quite an interesting newspaper. Don't be fooled by the Youth part. This newspaper is squarely aimed at the up and coming 20's and early 30's set (Chuppies?) who carry around cell phones more powerful than an Apple G4, celebrate their birthday at McDonald's, and are cramming for their TOEFL so they can get a one way ticket out of China on a study abroad program. How is this newspaper aimed at Chuppies? First, politics is kept to a minimum. The post-Tiananmen generation is even more jaded than I am regarding politics. I've repeatedly heard the joke that the only thing that's true in the People's Daily is the date. So what's the content? Insipid human interest stories. Lots of them, enough to make Dateline look like a serious, journalistic newsmagazine. Add to the mix interviews with the latest insipid Chinese pop stars, insipid articles about the "new economy" and the Internet, insipid articles about the latest model in cell phones (usually these articles are in the "consumerism" section of the paper, a section devoted to promoting said concept), insipid articles on which English speaking country is the best to study abroad in (consensus: Canada. Easy to get a visa, safe), and ads for weight-loss teas, skin-whitening creams, shampoos that make your hair as shiny as a chrome bumper. It might not be revolutionary zeal, but shit, they should be able to do better than this.
But then again, I'm being unfair. Thoughtful commentary and analysis bores most Americans as well.