First off, the Yilishen tale has finally been picked up by a US newspaper (hat tip to Granite Studio). The story had everything US papers usually love writing about when it comes to China: government corruption, large worker protests, scandal, working people getting fleeced by big business, celebrity, ants(?). However, the Global Voices blog had a great writeup summarizing Chinese blogs almost 2 months ago that told me everything the LA Times story did (and more) and included pictures. US media has almost completely ignored the story, beyond a brief writeup in Reuters (the UK did a better job) as far as I've seen, despite this being called the "perfect China story." The blog coverage in late November of this story and the subsequent lag before traditional media started picking up the story is yet another demonstration of how blogs are, in some cases, replacing traditional media, or at least usurping their territory.
Next we have Imagethief on plastic bags. I agree that the oft discussed recent government measure is a step in the right direction, at least PR-wise, but I doubt it will lead to much change when it takes effect. Although one only hopes it causes the public to pay attention to the issue and possibly at least lead some individuals to consider reusable shopping bags.
The NY Times/IHT carried an article about poverty in China yesterday. It doesn't say much of anything new, but I have a feeling that we'll be seeing many of these articles in the leadup to the Olympics as they provide such great contrast to articles like the Tim Johnson article on nouveau riche spending. I do think the most interesting point from the article is the fact that much of the government's poverty relief programs have been focused on development in western China and little has been done to help the interior provinces that are struggling with the dual problems of large migration to the cities and lack of opportunity/markets at home.
Finally, a China Daily story on Mojo. Despite my regular travels to Shanghai and the music scene there, I've yet to meet the man. Though I know there are some haters out there, I respect anyone trying to bring the message of real hip hop to the Chinese masses, instead of the overly commercial crap that regularly gets played over here. His pushing that the "next big thing in China" will be hip hop is another of those tired plaudits that seem to be popping up in a number of the articles I'm looking at today. It would be great to see, but its going to take time, Common came over and was basically ignored, the Roots had a largely Western audience, and Talib's show didn't get the love it should have. Anyways, to take a closer look at the man called Mojo, you can check out his blog.