Children playing outside their home in the village of Lang Shi Cun in Hunan Province. Image by Deborah Jian Lee. China, 2011.

This Week
A Bachelor Nation As Big As Texas

China’s draconian one-child policy helped check population growth in the world’s most populous country, but because of the ancient preference for sons, it has also thrown the country’s gender ratio completely out of whack. Today, for every 100 females in China, there are 120 males. In some areas the ratio is 100 to 150. This means that by 2020, China will have a nation of bachelors as large as the entire population of Texas.

Journalists Deborah Jian Lee and Sushma Subramanian traveled to China to examine the implications of this massive gender imbalance. In addition to entire villages that seem to consist of unmarried males, they found a significant population of young, educated and successful urban women who can’t find husbands because men are intimidated by their accomplishments.They also look at a tragic situation that has just now come to light:thousands of supposedly “unwanted” baby girls put up for international adoption were, in fact, stolen from their birth parents.

As the world’s population hits the 7 billion mark later this month, these stories and others to follow reflect the Pulitzer Center’s commitment to multi-faceted coverage of population issues.

The Dark Side of Arab Spring

When it comes to reporting the Arab Spring, Syria is undoubtedly the toughest nut to crack. The Assad regime simply closes the door to foreign media. But veteran journalist Reese Erlich managed to find a way in, and in the first of a series of reports he describes a schoolyard encounter that the government would prefer to have censored.

The Pulitzer Center is interested in photojournalism that challenges our ideas of what to expect from images of crisis. We are presenting some of our best photography from the last year in an exhibition and panel discussion, Beyond Witness: New Approaches to Crisis Photography, for FotoDC, a weeklong photo festival in Washington, DC, running November 4-12.

Until next week,

Tom Hundley
Senior Editor
thundley@pulitzercenter.org