Thursday, March 30, 2006

No Rolling Stone in China

I don't generally believe in censorship of any kind... but that's because I live in America. Unless it incites imminent physical harm or danger, nothing in America should be censored. Yet I get so annoyed when Americans or American companies go overseas, and are disrespectful of the laws and culture of that particular country.

Rolling Stone magazine entered the Chinese market early this month with a huge splash, including billboard advertisements, a 125,000-copy roll-out and free Rolling Stone hats with each magazine. On Wednesday, regulators said they would not allow it to publish a second issue.

Apparently, Rolling Stone crossed several red lines. More than half the content in the first edition is translated from the U.S. edition, yet it never received formal approval from the government.

It also ignored requirements that the publication's original Chinese name be printed in large type on the cover with its foreign name smaller and less prominent. In its first issue, Rolling Stone splashed its English name across the front in far larger type than its official Chinese title.

"They didn't go through the proper procedure," said Chen Li, director at the Shanghai Press and Publishing Administration. "There will be no future Rolling Stone content in this magazine. There's no such thing as 'Rolling Stone.' "


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