This article focuses on the coverage of the elopement of Huang Huiru and Lu Genrong in the late 1920s to examine Chinese newspapers` sensationalist and didactic approaches in handling social news. The Chinese press resorted to sensational news to garner profits, but insisted on investing such news with social significance so as to assume its role as the educator of the populace. Chinese newspapers` dual approaches resulted from both the commercialization of the Chinese news industry in the late 1920s and the Nationalist Party`s (KMT) tightening control over society in the wake of its rise to power in 1927. When commenting on the Huang-Lu elopement, Chinese liberal and progressive intellectuals called for the restoration of family values and rejected the May Fourth concept of "free love." This article thus argues that the KMT`s conservatism in the late 1920s and early 1930s was built on a consensus of social liberals and progressives.