Thursday, Apr. 21, 2011

Hu Shuli

More than a decade ago, when I was editing TIME's Asia edition, a Chinese journalist named Hu Shuli, who had recently founded Caijing, a Beijing-based magazine about business and finance, sent a team to our headquarters to learn how to produce a newsmagazine.

These days, Hu, 58, could teach the course. Caijing shook up China's media landscape with courageous investigative pieces on corruption and fraud. After a dispute with her publisher, Hu left the magazine in 2009 and set up Caixin Century, now a paragon of reporting brilliance in China. In February it ran a commentary on Egypt that any savvy reader would link to China. "Autocracy creates turbulence," it read, "democracy breeds peace."

I once asked Hu what it takes to create great journalism. She said, "Believe in what you do, do it smartly, and never give up."

Ignatius is the editor in chief of the Harvard Business Review Group