Friday, September 16, 2005

Published in the South China Morning Post

I hinted at this last week, but I wanted to bra... er, blog ... that I have been published in the South China Morning Post. I've had my byline in newspapers and magazines before, but not the SCMP, which I consider to be the best locally produced English-language daily in East Asia.

The commentary is titled "Stemming an inevitable tide," and appears on page 15 -- I think. I actually can't tell, because I live on the other side of the planet and the SCMP website is subscription-based. I have, however, been able to see it in Factiva (accessed through Harvard), which included the number "15" after the headline.

I'll try to get a copy of the newspaper at Out-of-Town Newspapers in Harvard Square, but chances are I'll never see the print original. I can't reproduce it on this site, owing to publishing and copyright restrictions.

I wanted to note here that the nucleus of the commentary appeared on this blog several months ago, in the blog entry entitled "Another reason China should fear the 'Net: A million people with camera phones." After posting it, I thought, this could get a wider audience, and worked to refine it into something publishable. Several paragraphs were removed or condensed, and most of the introduction was seriously reworked.

At first I offered it to U.S. and Canadian papers, thinking that the planned visit of Hu Jintao, and the recent hubbub over Chinese Intenet policy might make it attractive to Op-Ed editors. No go. The NYT, Boston Globe, Seattle Times, San Jose Mercury Times, and Vancouver Sun all turned it down. Well, actually, only the Seattle Times turned it down, while the others never replied, which is the same as rejection ("If you don't hear from us in a week, assume that we are not interested").

Then I sent it to the SCMP. They accepted it within 10 minutes (conditional that it wouldn't be published on or offered to any competing papers or the International Herald Tribune). They did make some edits, but not many. And I was paid a freelance fee that works out to about $200.

I'll keep an eye out for more publishing opportunities. Academic journals are my hope, but newspapers are great forums for ideas, too.

As are blogs.

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