Here’s one way to use Molive, the citizen journalism site where folks post pictures of the strange and wonderful things around them in China: bringing everyday street-level publicity efforts, the kind you see all the time in Chinese cities, to a wider stage. An apprentice journalist in Nanjing decided to help an old man passed by on the way to work, who is looking for his son. The father was apparently camped out near the news agency–many poor people make direct appeals to the public via print and news media for help. Link.
Mr. Ma is from a village outside of Nanjing and has been carrying his sign around with a photo of his son, sleeping on the streets and getting food and money for survival from passersby.
Journalist posted on Nov. 13, 9:49 [rough translation]: I took this in the morning on my way to work. Even though I work in a news agency, I’m only studying so there was no way I could help him. Reporters have been interviewing him for the past couple of days but it hasn’t made it into the papers. This time he was waiting for a reply from the reporters. I’ve taken his picture and put it on the web in the hopes that everyone will forward it and help him find his son as soon as possible. This old man is named Ma Wencan, from [XX] county, [XX] village, and his son’s name is Ma Peixue. His son is 23 years old and 1.65 meters in height. Ma Peixue left home in June of 2005. His father says that he left home because his parents had arranged a marriage for him and they had married after only twenty days. They’d only been married for 2 weeks or so, hadn’t even picked up the marriage certificate, when Ma Peixue told his father that he did not get along with his new wife and didn’t want to live with her. Father Ma Wencan gave him a bitter scolding for this, upon which Ma Peixue left home, with nothing, not even any ID. It’s been two years since he left home, during which Ma Wencan has been looking for him all over, sleeping on the streets, but not begging like some others do. Some kindhearted people have voluntarily given him food and money. Just as I was leaving, Ma Wencan thanked me over and over for putting his situation on the Internet. He said people had told him about the strong dissemination power of the Internet, that more people would know, and asked for people’s help in finding the person named Ma Peixue. Contact number: 0558——7826024