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Wu Huaiyao: An Alien in the Media World

Wu Huaiyao: An Alien in the Media World

By Elora HaysPublished 8 months ago 9 min read

High school students go to Beijing to work as editors

From his appearance, Wu Huaiyao looks like a junior high school student. The 26-year-old said goodbye to school life as early as the age of 17.

Wu Huaiyao volunteered to drop out of high school near the end of the second semester of his sophomore year because of a "big-character poster" he posted in June 2003. That year, Wu Huaiyao was 17 years old and a junior high school liberal arts student in Hubei province. One morning, the principal beat up one of his classmates in public because they didn't show up for morning exercises. Wu Huaiyao, who loves reading and writing, immediately posted a "big-character poster" on the campus bulletin board, asking the principal: "If you have the determination to beat students in public, you should have the courage and responsibility to apologize to students in public." As a result, the principal did not apologize, but Wu Huaiyao suddenly became a "thorn in the head", and was mocked by some teachers. This made Wu Huaiyao disappointed in the school and thought of escaping.

Wu Huaiyao's father was very surprised to hear that his son was leaving school, but instead of forcing his son to go back to school, he tried to reason with Wu over and over again, hoping that he would "come back." The father and son were locked in a standoff for more than 10 days. Dad is anxious, with Wu Huaiyao making a "military command": this summer vacation, you can not attend remedial classes, if you can not help the help of the home, find a job to support yourself, I will not interfere in your life, how?

The next day, Wu Huaiyao went to Wuhan alone. It was his first trip, and on his second day in Wuhan, he found a job selling cosmetics. Many of his colleagues were college students from Wuhan's top universities. A month and a half later, Wu returned home with his "first bucket of gold". When he took out more than 1000 dollars to dad's eyes, dad fulfilled the promise, but still added a "condition": you can go out first, if not out of the way, then come back to school!

In early September 2003, Wu Huaiyao came to Wuhan again and lived in his sister's home. He became a "professional writer".

One evening in late December, at a small book stall downstairs from his sister's house, Mr. Wu met Desert Zhou, a Beijing writer who had come to Wuhan to revise his novel 'Dear Suffering.' After a long talk, after reading more than 200,000 words of Wu Huaiyao's works, Desert Boat was very appreciative of this "unique opinion" of the little guy, and immediately encouraged him to go to Beijing to experience and practice, Wu Huaiyao also moved.

On the eighth day of the first lunar month in 2004, Wu Huaiyao, who was just 18 years old, set foot on the northbound train with a feeling of "I can do anything under the sun". After arriving in Beijing, Wu Huaiyao first stayed with his cousin and Desert Zhou for a few days, and then rushed to a cultural company to apply for a job with his work. Because there is no educational background, no actual work experience, and just stepping into the door of the company, Wu Huaiyao's heart has no bottom. Unexpectedly, after a cursory glance at Wu Huaiyao's work, the so-called interview turned into a friendly conversation, and the chief editor soon reached out with a smile to welcome Wu Huaiyao as the company's youngest editor.

Is a kid who didn't finish high school, and started as a book editor? In the face of some questioning stares, Wu Huaiyao knows how to prove himself.

Wu Huaiyao's company, then a partner of Baihua Literature and Art Publishing House, jointly published the Baihua Prose Series of more than 100 volumes. This allowed Wu Huaiyao to read a large number of the best prose of all times at home and abroad. I read more books in my first year. As he said, it is no less than studying Chinese in university for four years. Because of his diligence and studiousness, Wu Huaiyao became the "master editor" in the second year of the company. He planned and published 10 volumes of the Best Books of Mankind, which are still popular on the bestseller shelves in major bookstores.

Gifted and intelligent Wu Huaiyao, so sounded his life the first gong.

Launched the "Rich List of Chinese Writers",

A national

During the summer vacation of 2006, Wu Huaiyao had a sudden idea: to write a Survey Report on Chinese Students, which comprehensively reflects the current situation of Chinese students. After successfully passing the topic selection, he rushed back to his hometown excitedly. He spent more than a month on each campus, conducting an in-depth and detailed investigation of students' thoughts and learning and living conditions, and mastering a large number of fresh first-hand information. After returning from the interview, Wu Huaiyao soon wrote more than 200,000 words, but as he wrote, he found that he could not turn the vivid material into "an impressive work".

When a writer friend saw Wu Huaiyao struggling with his basket of good dishes without being able to cook them well, he suggested that he become a journalist and learn to write investigative reports. In late August 2006, the writer's friend, Wu Huaiyao, who had never attended a single day of journalism school, whistled and walked through the door of the Financial Times, a leading financial media outlet, under the guise of an intern.

After entering the newspaper office, Wu Huaiyao found that compared with those who pay attention to seniority in society, the media seems to pay more attention to the practical ability to work, most of the new people to get started, must write a report, is a mule or a horse, a walk to know. After some weighing, Wu Huaiyao will stare at the same age in the business nouveau riche body and quietly do the desk preparation work. He had never written investigative journalism before, so he had to cram at the last minute and buy a copy of Southern Weekly for two yuan on the street. "From the first edition to the last edition, I knew how to write this kind of investigative article."

Less than half a month after his internship in the newspaper office, Wu Huaiyao handed in his first news story with more than 5,000 words, the main title of which was "The new rich after 1980s start business". On the third day of the manuscript, Wu Huaiyao was surprised: "I did not expect that the chief editor did not change it, but it was pushed out as the cover article of the culture edition." After the article was published, it was reprinted by many digest newspapers and websites.

This is Wu Huaiyao's first piece of journalism, published on September 16, 2006. It is like a heavy stepping stone, let Wu Huaiyao, who has no diploma, no academic background, and no qualifications, become the youngest official reporter of the Financial Times, let the newspaper more than 20 interns who graduated from the journalism major of famous universities stunned.

In the golden autumn of that year, the news of the pioneering writer Hong Feng begging on the streets shocked the whole society. Some people in the newspaper then joked with Wu Huaiyao: writing has no future, give up as soon as possible! The "Hong Feng begging incident" and his colleagues' good-natured jokes deeply hurt Wu Huaiyao's young and sensitive heart. Writers who were once high up in the world are now being taken down from their pedestals, and some of them are even being made fun of by the public. Is this progress in social evaluation standards or a decline?

Wu Huaiyao thought of the whole group of writers, they are creating spiritual wealth for society, their material living standard? Can't they become materially rich at the same time as they become spiritual giants? With this question in mind, he began to collect information on the subject, but to his surprise, there were no reports on the existence of Chinese writers in all kinds of print and online media. After a series of lamentations, Wu Huaiyao came up with a very strong idea that he would use the power of an article to overturn the public's stereotype of writers as "poor" and make the whole society pay attention to the living situation of this special group of writers.

After choosing the topic, Wu Huaiyao began to carry out an extensive and careful investigation. First, the owners of dozens of large bookstores in several big cities were asked one by one to make a list of the best-selling authors of the year, and the top 25 names with the most repeated names were selected. Next, delineate the works of these writers. They then check print runs of their work and, after checking with publishers, calculate the authors' royalties for a year, based on general royalty rates in the publishing world. After more than a month of hard work, the first "Rich List of Chinese Writers", independently investigated and produced by Wu Huaiyao, has finally been finalized.

On December 15, 2006, the Financial Times headlined the launch of the "Rich List of Chinese Writers". The list was prominently displayed on the front page of almost every website in the country that day. The next day, newspapers around the country were abuzz. On the third day, CCTV and Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan media began to follow up on the report. Later, even the American media discussed it. Suddenly, "Rich lists of Chinese writers" appeared almost everywhere, and for the first time, the existence of writers became the most popular news topic and was named the most influential cultural event of the year.

Move to publish, think, act

The launch of the "Rich List of Chinese Writers" has not only turned writers into the hottest topics in society for the first time but also made Wu Huaiyao himself an overnight sensation. At the end of 2006, three months after the launch of the list, Wu became a cover reporter for the newspaper and began to report on various major topics in depth and write cover articles for the newspaper.

After several months as a cover reporter, Wu Huaiyao had a new idea: Is there a way to create a new model of media? Do not need the so-called news of the head, can be free to write blockbuster news? At this time, a website general manager to do ranking found Wu Huaiyao, with very generous terms to invite him to join the website.

fact or fiction

About the Creator

Elora Hays

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