When Hu Shuli abandoned the editorship of China's most influential news magazine, it looked like a victory for the forces of censorship.
Ms Hu, a resourceful and dogged editor often described as China's most formidable journalist, had made her
career by testing the limits of what is allowed in China's rigid media environment. Then it suddenly looked as if she had come up hard against those limits. There was widespread speculation that the iron hand of the censor was behind her departure from
the hard-hitting business magazine Caijing. Her editing career seemed to be over.
But now the fiery 56-year-old is back. She has taken a job as editor of another magazine, Century Weekly, and the first issue has just hit China's newsstands. Those
worried that crusading journalism may have died a death in China need not fear – it looks like Ms Hu is keen to continue her inimitable style at her new publication.
Rising censorship has triggered an implosion of China's most independent news publication, Caijing magazine.
Caijing editor Hu Shuli and most of her editorial team have resigned after its founder and chief backer, Wang Boming, reportedly did not
take her side in a series of editorial battles with the Chinese Government.
The New York Times said the Politics and Law Committee, led by security tsar Zhou Yongkang, ordered in July that Caijing be rectified after it failed to follow
directions on reporting the riots that month in Xinjiang.
Hu is now trying to gain clearance to start a new publication called Caixin. The vast majority of Caijing's reporters and editors are hoping to join the new project, according to an editor
who resigned as a result of the censorship.
We hope to start the new magazine before the end of the year, he said. It will be a challenge. But we had no choice. To stay we would have had to have traded our independence.
Caijing's publisher plans to continue and has begun hiring a replacement editorial team.