Media in China

Talk radio in China allows a much freer exchange of views than other media formats. In effect, talk radio has

Media in China

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Moscow State University

Faculty of Journalism

















Term paper by English language

made by third-year student of 304 group

Basina Maria Victorovna









Moscow, 2005



Introduction. Chinese media and government

China's media network: Xinhua and Peoples Daily

China Youth Daily

China Youth Online

Beijing Today

Subsidiary Newspapers and Magazines


Internet censorship in China



China Central Television

Talk Radio

Cable TV and satellites

The role of “internal” media

Market competition

Sources of information




Within the Peoples Republic of China there is heavy government involvement in the media, with many of the largest media organizations (namely CCTV, the Peoples Daily, and Xinhua) being agencies of the Chinese government. There are certain taboos and red lines in the Chinese media, such as a taboo against questioning the legitimacy of the Communist Party of China. Yet within those restrictions, there is a vibrance and diversity of the media and fairly open discussion of social issues and policy options within the parameters set by the Party.

Much of the surprising diversity in the Chinese media is attributable to the fact that most state media outlets no longer receive large government subsidies and are expected to largely pay for themselves through commercial advertising. As a result, they can no longer serve solely as mouthpieces for the government but must also produce programming that people find attractive and interested so that money can be generated through advertising revenue. In addition, while the government does issue directives defining what can and cannot be published, it does not prevent, and in fact actively encourages state media outlets to compete with each other for viewers and commercial advertising.

Government control of information can also be ineffective in other ways. Despite government restrictions, much information is gathered either at the local level or from foreign sources and passed on through personal conversations and text messaging. The withdrawal of government media subsidies has caused many newspapers (including some owned by the Communist Party) in tabloids to take bold editorial stands critical of the government, as the necessity to attract readers and avoid bankruptcy has been a more pressing fear than government repression.

In addition, the traditional means of media control have proven extremely ineffective against newer forms of communication, most notably text messaging.

Although the government can and does use laws against state secrets to censor press reports about social and political conditions, these laws have not prevented the press from all discussion of Chinese social issues. Chinese newspapers have been particularly affected by the loss of government subsidies, and have been especially active at gaining readership though must engaging in hard hitting investigative reporting and muckraking. As a result even papers which are nominally owned by the Communist Party are sometimes very bold at reporting social issues. However both commercial pressures and government restrictions have tended to cause newspapers to focus on lurid scandals often involving local officials who have relatively little political cover, and Chinese newspapers tend to lack in depth analysis of political events as this tends to be more political sensitive.

Among social issues first reported in the Chinese press include the AIDS epidemic in Henan province, the unsafe state of Chinese mines. In addition, the SARS coverup was first revealed by a fax to CCTV which was forwarded to Western news media.




Xinhua (the New China News Agency) and People's Daily, the two most important print media, have status as separate government ministries; their directors sit on the party's Central Committee. Just below, hierarchically, are the two national newspapers under the control of the Propaganda Department the Guangming Daily and the English-language China Daily. These entities have the rank of vice ministries, as does the State Council-controlled Economic Daily. The National Propaganda Department appoints publishers, chief editors, and other key officials of the above-mentioned newspapers plus a few others while provincial and local party leaders make similar appointments for party papers in their jurisdictions.

In many ways, Xinhua is the fuel propelling China's print media. Perhaps unique in the world because of its role, size, and reach, Xinhua reports directly to the party's Propaganda Department; employs more than 10,000 people as compared to about 1,300 for the UK's Reuters, for example; has 107 bureaus worldwide both collecting information on other countries and dispensing information about China; and maintains 31 bureaus in China one for each province plus a military bureau. In as much as most of the newspapers in China cannot afford to station correspondents abroad or even in every Chinese province they rely on Xinhua feeds to fill their pages. People's Daily, for example, uses Xinhua material for approximately 25 percent of its stories.

Xinhua is a publisher as well as a news agency it owns more than 20 newspapers and a dozen magazines, and it prints in Chinese, English, and four other languages.

Like other government entities, Xinhua is feeling the pinch of reduced State financial subsidies. Beijing has been cutting funding to the news agency by an average of seven percent per year over the past three years, and State funds currently cover only about 40 percent of Xinhua's costs. As a result, the agency is raising revenues through involvement in public relations, construction, and information service businesses.

In the past, Xinhua was able to attract the top young journalists emerging from the universities or otherwise newly entering the field, but it can no longer do so as easily because of the appeal and resources of other newspapers and periodicals and the greater glamour of television and radio jobs. For example, midlevel reporters for the Xinmin Evening News often are given an apartment, whereas at Xinhua and People's Daily this benefit is reserved for the most senior journalists.

Like many other media organizations, Xinhua struggled to find the "right line" to use in covering the Tiananmen Square events of April-June 1989. Although more cautious than People's Daily in its treatment of sensitive topics during that period such as how to commemorate reformist Communist Party leader Hu Yaobang's April 1989 death, the then ongoing demonstrations in Beijing and elsewhere, and basic questions of press freedom and individual rights Xinhua gave some favorable coverage to demonstrators and intellectuals who were questioning top party leaders. Even so, many Xinhua reporters were angry with top editors for not going far enough and for suppressing stories about the Tiananmen Square crackdown. For several days after the violence on 4 June, almost no one at Xinhua did any work, and journalists demonstrated inside the Agency's Beijing compound





The China Youth Daily is one of the most important daily official newspapers and is the first independently operated central government news media portal in the China. It is operated by the Communist Youth League since 1951. The chief editor is Li Xueqian.

China Youth Daily was established in 1951, six years before the Chinese Socialist Youth League decided to change its name to Communist Youth League of China (CYL).

China Youth Daily resolutely supports the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) due to its subordination to the CYL. As the mission of CYL at the present stage is to unite and lead the young people in the country, hoping to tranfuse new blood to the CPC and bringing about young personnel for the country, China Youth Daily also tries to bring news, ideas and informations through the nationwide circulations which follow the CYL principles. Thus, China Youth Daily has in fact given advantages to the CPC to project their voice to a wider public in China. In another perspective, the content of the paper is to some extent regulated by the CPC.

Although China youth Daily is run by the CYL, it is also the first marketized official paper in China. The profit enables the paper to support its own running and it also welcomes individuals and companies to advertise in the paper.

Administrative structure of China Youth Daily can be divided into two parts. First, it is the upper part and the main power of the hierarchy which includes the president and the chief editor. Second, there are the vice president, the vice chief editor and the secretary. But like all other papers with a CPC background, China Youth Daily is ultimately directed by the Propaganda Department of the CPC. Although it does not mean that the Propaganda Department often affects the direction and the content of the paper, it is authorized and has the right to do so.

Apart from the central hierarchy, there are six other departments wh

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