Talk in the Hutong, Sunday, 8 October

In the Hutong
Nursing a Cold
1033 hrs.

The all-too-short “Golden Week” has come to an end, with many creeping back to work on a Sunday and facing a six day workweek. Appropriately, as the week came to a close, an occluded weather front rolled in, dropping rain and shoving temperatures down 10 degrees (celsius) overnight. Having gone to bed Friday night with our windows open for the cooling effect, many of us are now spending our days slamming OJ and reaching for the Kleenex box.

Against such a depressing background, the news, at least, everyone here in the Hutong arguing and gesticulating.

> The Sunday Times of London has a superb article that frames why Kim Jong Il is quickly turning into a liability for the Chinese.

> The Independent covers China’s efforts to clean up it leading Soccer league. It’s worth a read – Soccer in China makes the Italians look like paragons of propriety. Probably explains why none of my clients are interested in sponsoring the sport.

(Just as an aside, it strikes me as stunning that between The Times, The Independent, The Telegraph, and even The Guardian British newspapers continue to do a better job writing compelling stories on China on average than all the U.S. mainstream broadsheets, with the notable exceptions of The New York Times and The Washington Post.)

> The Sunday Times also proves that The Wall Street Journal is still the global butt-kicker for coverage of business in China by reprinting a superb WSJ article on China Netcom’s struggle to introduce corporate governance best-practices. You cannot beat The Financial Times for its breadth of coverage, but the editors too often seem to be holding the reins of brilliant journalists like Richard McGregor and Mure Dickie, keeping them from covering their stories in the depth they deserve. Let slip the dogs of war, FT. Turn your superb staff loose – use the wire services for breadth and let Mure and Richard deliver the true insight.