Senior couple keeps dying art of newspaper sales alive

Source: Published: 2016/10/25 16:55:09

Highlights: There are fewer and fewer newspaper stalls on the streets of late, as people are increasingly turning to online sources to get their news. According to a report released in April by the Chinese Academy of Press and Publication, the nationwide newspaper reading rate was 45.7 percent, down 9.4 points from the 2014 rate of 55.1 percent. Yan Jingdong, 78, and his wife Li Guiqin, 70, continue to sell newspapers on the streets of Qingdao, East China’s Shandong Province, though their daily sales have dropped from at least 80 copies to about 40 copies over the last five years. Photos: CFP

  • Li Guiqin reorganizes a stack of newspapers at the stall on October 22, Qingdao, East China’s Shandong Province.

  • Li sits in front of the couple's newspaper stall, her legs covered with a quilt to prevent her arthritis from flaring up in the cold weather.

  • Li receives payment from a regular customer on October 22. Li said that they do not want to increase the burden they place on their 30-year-old son, and would like to keep the stall so that they can look after themselves.

  • Yan Jingdong collects newspapers for peddling in the street at 5:30 am on October 22. Yan said that they will keep on selling newspapers as long as the profits from their sales are enough to make ends meet. The number of newspaper stalls in the area has gone from six to one, though their stall will remain in place to cater to the senior citizens in the neighborhood who continue to get their news from the print media.

  • Yan sells newspapers to customers in a restaurant on October 22. Peddling in restaurants in the area is a good way to sell more copies, as many people are glad to buy a copy to help out a hardworking senior.

  • Boiled eggs are also sold at the newspaper stall to help subsidize their income. Li said that few people bought the boiled eggs, leaving plenty of leftovers for their supper.

  • Li counts money after a day of selling newspapers. The couple can earn 0.15 yuan ($0.02) from each newspaper copy, while they also sell rags for money. On average they will earn around 15 yuan each day from the sale of newspapers and rags.

  • Yan collects rags on the street at night while selling newspapers on October 22. He said he used to be able to sell empty bottles for 0.1 yuan, but the price has since fallen to only 0.02 yuan.

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