Biography in English

Chang Chi-luan 張季鸾 Orig. Chang Ch'ih-chang 張熾章

Chang Chi-luan (20 March 1888-6 September 1941), editor of the leading newspaper Ta Kung Pao, was a pioneer advocate of freedom in reporting and in expressing editorial opinion in the Chinese press.

Although Chang Chi-luan was born in Tsoup'ing hsien, Shantung province, his family's ancestral home was in Yulin, Shensi. Chang's father, Chang Ch'iao-hsuan, was serving as a government official in Shantung when the boy was born. In 1900 the father died at Tsinan. Chang's mother took her husband's remains to the ancestral home for burial, and the family then remained in Shensi.

As a boy Chang Chi-luan was physically weak and suffered from stammering. His promise as a scholar, however, attracted the attention of government officials in Shensi, who ensured that he had a good education. He studied the Chinese classics and history and, even as a youth, was noted for his concise and well-structured prose composition. In February 1904 he entered the Hung-tao Higher School at Sanyuan, Shensi. His mother died two months later. In 1905 he passed the Shensi provincial examinations and became eligible for a government scholarship to study in Japan. Since he knew no Japanese, he devoted time to learning it and did not go to Japan until 1909. There he entered the Tokyo First Higher School, where he studied political economy. He also became interested in practical political affairs, joined the T'ung-meng-hui, and helped to edit an anti-Manchu magazine run by Shensi men living in Japan. This minor post marked the beginning of Chang Chi-luan's lifelong dedication to journalism.

When the Wuchang revolt broke out in October 1911, Chang left his studies in Japan and returned to China, where he joined the staff of the Min-li pao [people's strength journal] at Shanghai. The office of that newspaper, which had been established by Yu Yu-jen (q.v.), was then an important meeting place for such men as Chang Shih-chao, Shao Li-tzu, Sung Chiao-jen, and Yeh Ch'u-ts'ang (qq.v.), all of whom supported the provisional government at Nanking. After Sun Yat-sen's resignation in April 1912, Chang Chi-luan left Nanking for north China, where he helped to establish a Peking edition of the Min-li pao. Because of the strong views expressed in that paper on the occasion of the assassination of Sung Chiao-jen in March 1913, Chang was arrested and imprisoned for three months.

After his release he fled to Shanghai. There, at the invitation of Hu Lin (q.v.), who had been his schoolmate in Japan, Chang joined the staff of the Ta-kung-ho jih-pao [great republican daily], becoming editor in charge of international affairs. The duties of this post included the translation of articles from the Japanese press. Concurrently, he taught Western history for a period at Chung-kuo kung-hsueh [China college] in Woosung, where Sheng Shih-ts'ai (q.v.) was one of his students. In 1915 he founded and became chief editor of the Min-hsin jih-pao [people's faith journal] in Shanghai, writing almost daily attacks against Yuan Shih-k'ai. After Yuan's death in June 1916, Chang returned to Peking to take over the Chung-hua hsin-pao [new China journal], at the same time serving as correspondent for the Shanghai Hsin-wen pao [the news]. During this period he also contributed many articles to magazines, using a pen name to protect himself. After publishing a report disclosing the secret agreements negotiated between the Anfu clique and Japan, the Chung-hua hsin-pao was closed, along with several other Peking newspapers, and Chang was imprisoned on the order of Hsu Shu-cheng (q.v.). The freedom of the press was hardly established in north Chang Chi-luan China at this time, and the lot of the Chinese newsmen was unenviable at best. After his release Chang returned to Shanghai.

After a decade as a leading editor of newspapers which were consistently dependent on political privilege or personal subsidies, Chang Chi-luan hoped to work for an enterprise which would be established on an independent and commercial basis. In the winter of 1924 he moved back to Peking, where he participated in plans to expand the faltering Kuo-wen News Service. Before decisions were made on that project, the Ta Kung Pao in Tientsin came on the market. With capital provided by Wu Ting-ch'ang (q.v.), a new company was formed, and it took over the Ta Kung Pao in September 1926. Chang Chi-luan became chief editor of the paper, and Hu Lin became general manager in charge of business operations. The three men determined to keep the paper free from political influence or control.

Chang devoted the years from 1926 until 1941 to establishing the Ta Kung Pao as a reliable organ of liberal opinion in China. His original editorial manifesto called for no partisanship, no dependence on outside commercial or political subsidies, no advancement of private interests through the paper, and no conformity at the expense of truth. Under Chang Chiluan's editorial guidance, the Ta Kung Pao faithfully held to its stated purpose of presenting facts and reflecting public opinion. Although the paper generally sympathized with the Nationalist cause and supported Chiang Kai-shek as the national leader, on many occasions it was critical of government policies and personalities. In October 1930, at Chang's instigation, the Ta Kung Pao sent reporters to investigate living conditions in the countryside of Hopei in north China. The paper's daily dispatches candidly exposed the maladministration there, marking a new era in Chinese journalism.

Moreover, as national attention focused increasingly on Sino-Japanese relations in the post- 1931 period, the Ta Kung Pao responded by sending correspondents to Japan and to the Soviet Union. Their reports were supplemented by Chang's editorials, which showed a farsighted appraisal of Japanese intentions in China and an awareness of the benefits which China might gain through increased attention to the Soviet pattern of industrial and technological development. The caliber of the paper's reporting was bettered by the fact that both Chang Chi-luan and Wang Yun-sheng, one of his proteges, were familiar with Japan and Japanese affairs. During the 1930's the Ta Rung Pao gained steadily in national reputation and popularity, as well as in financial success. On 1 September 1936 the paper celebrated the tenth anniversary of its resumption of publication, and Chang Chi-luan wrote a commemorative article to mark the occasion, reviewing achievements and renewing pledges.

Because of the growing crisis in north China, the Ta Kung Pao established a Shanghai edition on 1 April 1936. The Tientsin and Shanghai editions simultaneously published a statement by Chang explaining that the move was dictated by the desire to provide a truly national forum for independent opinion and did not mark an expansion in business or a retreat from north China. At that time, opinion was deeply divided as to the most appropriate course for national policy, and many patriotic groups were supporting the Communist call for military resistance against Japan. Chang Chi-luan steered the Ta Kung Pao on an independent course through this difficult period, insisting that he was prepared to have the paper close down rather than to pander to the emotionalism generated by sectional or political interests. On 1 June 1936 Chang published a strong editorial, "China's Youth and Japan," in which he warned the Japanese that the youth of China was greatly superior in fortitude to what it had been thirty years earlier, and that young women as well as young men were now prepared for dedicated sacrifice in the cause of national independence and social welfare. At the time of the Sian Incident in December 1936, Chang published an open letter to Chang Hsueh-liang (q.v.) and his associates, arguing that their action in detaining Chiang Kai-shek could only harm the unity that China had achieved with difficulty during the years since 1928. The phrasing and the sentiments expressed in his letter had considerable impact in China and reportedly contributed to settlement of the incident.

Motivated by his own experience as a working journalist, Chang took a consistently strong stand regarding censorship and freedom of speech. In February 1937 he argued that the government's right to ban news reports should be limited to material which definitely attempted to undermine the state system, disclose national defense plans, or sabotage public order.- The policy, he insisted, should be to release everything that could be released, not to withhold everything on principle.

As a result of the outbreak of war in mid1937, both the Tientsin and the Shanghai editions of the Ta Kung Pao were forced to suspend publication. While Hu Lin went to Hong Kong to launch a new edition there with the presses which had been evacuated from Tientsin, the Shanghai equipment was moved to Hankow. The paper resumed publication there on 18 September 1937, only to be forced to close on 17 October. On 1 December 1937 a new Chungking edition replaced the short-lived Hankow paper. During the early days of the war, Chang Chi-luan, who was chief editor in Chungking, traveled regularly between west China and Hong Kong to keep in touch with Hu Lin. Chang's editorials were published simultaneously in both editions. During a period of uncertainty in China, his articles did much to clarify issues and provide perspective. He called for long-term planning to prosecute the war against Japan and strongly opposed Wang Ching-wei (q.v.) and his group, whose policy he termed one of "national extinction."

Over the years the Ta Kung Pao had grown into a large enterprise with an extensive staff. In addition to his editorial duties, Chang Chiluan, as a veteran of the organization, also had heavy managerial responsibilities. His always precarious health worsened with the move to Chungking, though he continued to handle the many tasks connected with establishing the new edition in the wartime capital. After the spring of 1939, Chang Chi-luan delegated more and more of his editorial duties to his assistant, Wang Yun-sheng. Eventually Chang's tuberculosis forced him to retire, and Wang succeeded him. On 15 May 1941 the University of Missouri School of Journalism bestowed an award on the Ta Kung Pao, in recognition of the principles to which Chang had dedicated himself over the years. A few months after the Missouri award, on 6 September, he died in Chungking. His passing was mourned by his associates in Chungking, and his fellow newsmen voted to give him a public burial. In addition, a Chang Chi-luan scholarship fund was raised to commemorate his notable contributions to modern Chinese journalism. A collection of his writings, Chi-luan wen-ts'un [preserved writings of Chiluan], was published at Chungking in 1944, and a new edition was issued at Tientsin in 1946.

Chang led a simple life unlike the undisciplined existence conventionally associated with the press. In his later years Chang was a tall and slightly stooped figure with a balding head and a prominent nose. Throughout the year he wore the traditional Chinese long gown. He was a frugal man, and his gowns were made of coarse native material.

As a responsible native of Shensi, Chang was naturally concerned with the relatively backward state of education in that province. On a visit after his return from Japan at the beginning of the republican period, he suggested that the Shensi authorities set aside government funds to assist students. His efforts and encouragement greatly increased the number of Shensi students who later studied in universities elsewhere in China and abroad.

In a period when the Chinese press was subject to many pressures, both private and political, Chang Chi-luan helped to create a sound policy of unbiased reporting and free expression of editorial opinion. This was his greatest achievement.

Biography in Chinese

张季鸾 原名:张炽章


张季鸾出生于山东邹平,原籍陕西榆林。父亲张绍雄(译音)在山东做官 时,张季鸾出生。1900年父亲在济南去世,母亲携子回籍安葬,从此留在陕西。

张季鸾幼年体弱口吃,但他有志成为一名学者,因此为地方官吏所器重而 加以培植。青年时习读经史典籍,那时他就以文字流利简洁、构思谨严著称。

1904年2月,张季鸾进陕西三原宏道高中,两个月后母亲去世。1905年经 陕西省试,获得留学日本的资格。他先在国内补习日文,直到1909年才去日 本,进东京第一高等学堂习政治经济学。那时,他开始注意政治活动,加入了 同盟会,并协助留日陕籍人士编辑一份反满刊物,这就成了张季鸾后来毕生从 事新闻事业的起点。

1911年10月武昌起义,张季鸾由日本回国,在上海参加《民立报》的工 作。《民立报》系于右任创办,报社当时是南京临时政府的支持者章士钊、邵 力子、宋教仁、叶楚伧等人经常集会的地点。1912年4月孙逸仙辞去临时大总 统后,张季鸾去北京,协助创办北京版《民立报》。1913年3月宋教仁被刺案 发生后,由于《民立报》强烈斥责,张季鸾被捕入狱,监禁三月之久。

张季鸾被释后潜往上海,在上海应留日同学胡霖遨请担任《大共和日报》 国际版主编。他经常译载一些日本报刊的时论文章,同时兼任上海吴淞中国公 学西洋史教师,盛世才当时是他的一名学生。1915年张季鸾在上海创办《民信 日报》,自任主编,几乎每天撰文抨击袁世凯。1916年6月袁世凯死后,张季 鸾到北京主持《中华新报》,同时兼任上海《新闻报》记者。在此期间张季鸾常常用化名向报刊投稿,因揭露了安福系和日本的秘密谈判,《中华新报》和 北京几家其他报纸同被查封,张季鸾被徐树铮下令逮捕入狱。当时北京毫无新 闻自由,其他报界人士的处境也大为不妙。张季鸾被释后回上海。

张季鸾过去十年所主编的报纸,都是经常依赖政治特权或私人补助来维持 的,因此他很想创办一份具有独立性的、商业性质的报纸。1924年冬他回北 京,参与改组风雨飘摇中的国闻通讯社的筹划工作;在作出改组决定之前,《大 公报》在天津出版了。1926年9月,由吴鼎昌投资组成一个新企业,接办《大 公报》,由胡霖任总经理,张季鸾任主编。三人决定不让该报受到政治上的影响和控制。

从1926年到1941年,张季鸾全力以赴,力图使《大公报》成为一份反映中 国自由舆论的可靠喉舌。他在创刊词中宣称《大公报》“不党”、“不卖”、 “不媚”、“不盲”。《大公报》在张季鸾的编辑方针指导下,忠实地坚持报 道实际情况和反映公众舆论。《大公报》虽然通常同情国民党,拥护蒋介石为 全国领袖,但对于政府的政策和人物仍时时有所批评。1930年10月,《大公 报》根据张季鸾的意图,派遣记者考察河北省的农村生活情况,每天在该报发 表报道,直言无讳地揭露了这些地方的种种弊政,这种做法标志着中国新闻界 的一个新纪元。

此外,在1931年以后的一个时期中,当全国注意力逐步集中于中日关系的 时候,《大公报》派出记者去日本、苏联采访。记者的采访报道附有张季鸾写 的评论,这些评论具有远见地指出了日本对中国的意图,并且意识到如果中国 重视苏联所推行的发展工业技术的方式,中国将能获得益处。《大公报》报道 之所以能切中时要,还在于张季鸾本人和他的助手王芸生对日本的情况很熟 悉。在三十年代期间,《大公报》稳步地获得了全国声誉,经济上亦绰有余 裕。1936年9月1日《大公报》重刊十周年,张季鸾在报上发表了纪念文章, 回顾《大公报》的成就,并重申它的方针。

华北局势日趋紧张,1936年4月1日,《大公报》增设了上海版。在天津 版和上海版的《大公报》上同时发表了张季鸾的声明,指出增设上海版目的在 于使《大公报》真正成为全国的独立论坛,并非借此扩展业务,亦非表示撤出 华北。当时国内舆论对政局的意见有严重分歧,许多爱国团体支持中国共产党 提出的对日抗战主张。张季鸾想要在这个国事艰难的时期保持《大公报》的独 立地位,表示他宁愿《大公报》停闭而不愿为感情用事的党派利益所左右。 1936年6月1日,张季鸾发表了一篇《中国青年和日本》的激烈社论,他对日 本提出警告说:今日的中国男女青年,其刚强意志已远非三十年前所可比拟, 为了民族独立和社会的利益,他们准备洒热血抛头颅。1936年12月西安事变发 生,张季鸾在致张学良的一封公开信中斥责他拘捕蒋介石是破坏了中国自1928 年以来经历了千辛万苦而得来的统一。信中的用词和表达的情感在中国引起了 极大的影响,据说对解决西安事变起了作用。

张季鸾根据他办报的亲身经历,对新闻检查和言论自由一贯坚持强硬的立 场。1937年2月他议论说:政府禁止新闻报道权,仅能限于对那些危害国家制 度、泄露国防机密、扰乱社会秩序这几个方面的报道加以禁止。他主张实行能 够发表的言论必须允许发表的政策,不得任意扣留。

1937年秋,战争爆发,上海、天津两地《大公报》停刊,胡霖把天津《大 公报》的设备运往香港,在那里创办香港版的《大公报»,而上海的设备则运 往汉口。1937年9月18日《大公报》复刊,10月17日即被迫停刊。在汉口出版 的为期甚短的《大公报》1937年12月1日又在重庆出版。抗日战争初期,张季 鸾是《大公报》在重庆的主编。他经常来往于重庆、香港之间,和胡霖取得联 系。在中国局势动荡不定的时期,张季鸾发表的文章在指明真相、展望前景方 面起了不小的作用。他呼吁长期抗战,强烈反对汪精卫之流,称他们的政策是 一种“民族灭亡”的政策。

《大公报》经营多年,成为一家拥有很多职工的大企业。张季鸾作为《大 公报》的老前辈,他不仅身任主笔之职,而且还担负着繁重的行政工作。他到 重庆后虽然继续处理许多有关重庆办报的工作,可是他本来就不健康的身体更 坏了,1939年的春季后,他把主笔的工作越来越多地交给他的助手王芸生去 办,最后他因肺病退休,由王芸生继任他的职务。

1941年5月15日,美国密苏理大学新闻学院授予《大公报》奖状,表彰张 季鸾的功绩。在密苏理大学授奖后没有多久,9月6日,张季鸾在重庆逝世。 张季鸾的同事在重庆悼念他的逝世,为他举行公葬,并设立奖学金,以纪念他 对现代中国新闻事业所作出的杰出贡献。1944年他的著述《季鸾文存》在重庆 出版,1946年在天津刊印新版。


张季鸾是有声望的陕西人,因此他很关心本省教育的落后状况。民国初年, 他从日本回来后曾去陕西,建议陕西省政府专门设置资助学生的基金。由于他 努力促成这件事,此后,陕西省的学生到国内外大学上学的人数大为增加。

正当中国新闻界遭到来自私下的和政治的各种压力的时期,张季鸾能坚持 不偏不倚的新闻报道以及畅所欲言地发表评论的正确方针,这是他的最大成绩。

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