STRATEGIC ANALYSIS

Routledge handbook of Chinese media by Gary D. Rawnsley and Ming-yeh T. Rawnsley

Gunjan Singh is Research Assistant at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile
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  • March 2016
    Volume: 
    40
    Issue: 
    2
    Book Review

    In the last three decades, the Chinese economy and society have witnessed unprecedented change and development. Since the introduction of the economic reforms in 1978 under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping, China has transformed itself from an agrarian, underdeveloped economy to become the second-largest economy in the world, also uplifting its large population out of poverty; 600 million have undergone this transformation.1 Economic reforms have had a very strong impact on many aspects of Chinese society. One sector which has faced massive change is the Chinese media. The socialist expectation of media is that it plays the role of being the ‘mouthpiece’ of the Communist Party. Chinese media remains highly controlled and monitored by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Media freedom is one liberty which the Party still does not dispense. Controlling the media has helped the CCP to sustain itself in power. The Party zealously controls and guards the news domain. However, with economic reforms, the Chinese media has undergone a number of changes, within a master frame where the CCP has full control over what the media can report. The most critical factor in this regard was the introduction of advertisement. When the CCP withdrew subsidies, the media had to generate revenue through advertisement. This meant that the media had to publish and show things which interested the Chinese people, thus moving away from strict conformity to the CCP of the past.

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