Sinica Podcast

06.22.13

The Evan Osnos Exit Interview

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
In a summer when many reporters and their families are departing Beijing (including many people who have appeared on this podcast), perhaps the biggest loss to the foreign correspondents’ pool in the Chinese capital is the departure of Evan Osnos,...

Sinica Podcast

05.17.13

An Evening with Bill Bishop

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
This week, Kaiser and Jeremy welcome back Bill Bishop, the force behind the invaluable Sinocism newsletter and the man Evan Osnos once referred to as “the China watcher’s China watcher.” Starting with a look at Bill’s past and how he ended up in...

Media

05.01.13

The Wall Street Journal: Covering China Past and Present

The Wall Street Journal was one of the first American publications to set up a bureau in Beijing. Since its establishment, scores of the Journal’s correspondents have traveled in and out of the country to cover China’s economic and political...

Other

04.30.13

Events

A listing of upcoming ChinaFile events. Each of the events will be live-streamed here.

Media

04.26.13

Making a Show of the News?

Ouyang Bin & Zhang Xiaoran
In what seemed like a flash on April 20, Chinese netizens dubbed TV reporter Chen Ying “the most beautiful bride” on China’s Internet. It was the day of her wedding but a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Ya’an in Sichuan province and Chen didn’t bother...

Video

04.05.13

Censored: A Chinese Journalist’s Inside View

Jonah Kessel from Committee to Protect Journalists
Journalist Liu Jianfeng worked at the China Economic Times newspaper in Beijing for fifteen years. Eventually, frustration with the nation’s state-controlled media system and pressure from his colleagues prompted him to quit. He then did brief...

Reports

02.28.13

Challenged in China

David Schlesinger, Sophie Beach, Madeline Earp, and Danny O'Brien
Committee to Protect Journalists
As Xi Jinping takes office as president of China, the citizenry he governs is more sophisticated and interconnected than any before, largely because of the Internet. A complex digital censorship system—combined with a more traditional approach to...

Media

02.22.13

Complaints, Nationalism, and Spoofs

Ouyang Bin & Zhang Xiaoran
This week, United States government and American media charges of Chinese cyberattacks have led to a variety of responses from netizens across China. On February 19, a CNN camera crew tried to shoot video of the twelve-story military-owned building...

China, Its Hackers, And The American Media

Matt Schiavenza
Atlantic
While the story presented fresh evidence of Chinese hacking, the aftermath presents more questions than answers about U.S.-China relations, as well as the connection between U.S. media and Chinese government.

Media

02.11.13

Covering China: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

On February 5, 2013, ChinaFile celebrated its official launch by bringing together a panel of former and current New York Times correspondents, whose collective China experience spans the course of half a century, to discuss their coverage of China...

Sinica Podcast

01.11.13

The Southern Drama

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Mere months after China’s handling of the Eighteenth Party Congress suggested the country would undergo a peaceful leadership transition, the issue of freedom of the press surged to attention this week after a censored editorial in Southern Weekly (...

Sinica Podcast

12.28.12

Return of the China Blog

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
All of you Sinica old-timers might remember a show we ran two years ago on the death of the China blog, in which Jeremy, Kaiser, and Will Moss mused about whether the combined forces of Twitter, Facebook, and Bill Bishop would manage to drive a...

Environment

12.07.12

Environmentalist Liu Futang Found Guilty of “Illegal Business Activities”

from chinadialogue
Well-known Chinese environmentalist Liu Futang has been convicted of carrying out “illegal business activities,” given a three-year suspended prison sentence, and fined 17,000 yuan.Liu Futang, named best citizen journalist in chinadialogue’s 2012...

Forced ‘Vacation’ for Man Who Broke Dumpster Death Story

Josh Chin
Wall Street Journal
The journalist who publicized the deaths of five young boys in southwestern China last week, has been forced to take a “vacation.”

State TV Host Apologizes for Cursing American Reporter. Or Does He?

Josh Chin
Wall Street Journal
China Central TV host Yang Rui apologized for calling a female U.S. journalist a “bitch” in a xenophobic rant.

Books

10.03.12

Chinese Characters

Angilee Shah and Jeffrey Wasserstrom (Editors)
Though China is currently in the global spotlight, few outside its borders have a feel for the tremendous diversity of the lives being led inside the country. This collection of compelling stories challenges oversimplified views of China by shifting the focus away from the question of China’s place in the global order and zeroing in on what is happening on the ground. Some of the most talented and respected journalists and scholars writing about China today profile people who defy the stereotypes that are broadcast in print, over the airwaves, and online. These include an artist who copies classical paintings for export to tourist markets, Xi’an migrant workers who make a living recycling trash in the city dumps, a Taoist mystic, an entrepreneur hoping to strike it rich in the rental car business, an old woman about to lose her home in Beijing, and a crusading legal scholar.The immense variety in the lives of these Chinese characters dispels any lingering sense that China has a monolithic population or is just a place where dissidents fight Communist Party loyalists and laborers create goods for millionaires. By bringing to life the exciting, saddening, humorous, confusing, and utterly ordinary stories of these people, the gifted contributors create a multi-faceted portrait of a remarkable country undergoing extraordinary transformations. —University of California Press{chop}

Sinica Podcast

09.28.12

An Evening at the Beijing Bookworm

Jeremy Goldkorn, Ian Johnson & more from Sinica Podcast
On September 13, Sinica co-host Jeremy Goldkorn was delighted to chair a panel discussion at the Beijing Bookworm with authors Ian Johnson and Christina Larson, two well-known China journalists and now contributors to Chinese Characters, a...

Books

09.19.12

Two Billion Eyes

Ying Zhu
With over 1.2 billion viewers globally, including millions in the United States, China Central Television (CCTV) reaches the world’s single largest audience. The official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, CCTV is also a dynamic modern media conglomerate, fully reliant on advertising revenue and aggressively competitive both within China and on the global media scene. Yet this hugely influential media player is all but unknown to the west. Two Billion Eyes tells its story for the first time.For this unprecedented look inside CCTV, noted Chinese media expert Ying Zhu has conducted candid interviews with the network’s leading players, including senior executives, noted investigative journalists, and popular news anchors, as well as directors and producers of some of CCTV’s most successful dramatic and current affairs programs.Examining the broader story of CCTV in a changing China over the past quarter century, Two Billion Eyes looks at how commercial priorities and journalistic ethics have competed with the demands of state censorship and how Chinese audiences themselves have grown more critical, even as Party control shows no signs of loosening. A true inside account of one of the world’s most important companies, this is a crucial new book for anyone seeking to understand contemporary China.    —The New Press

Winter For Chinese Media: Why So Many Respected Journalists Are Leaving the Field

Yueran Zhang
Although the government’s control over news media has always been tight, the range and intensity of the purge this year has been rarely seen, suggesting that the censors’ controlling hand is tightening. As Wang Keqin, a former investigative...

With Extra Frames, a Chinese Photographer Looks Inward

Sim Chi Yin
New York Times
 (Part 2) Li Zhensheng, a newspaper photographer who was active in the 1960s in northern China, documented the country’s Cultural Revolution, in honest, cinematic images.

Sheng Shuren: A Journalist in Mao’s New China

Yaxue Cao
Seeing Red in China
I came upon the name Sheng Shuren (盛树人) recently when I was reading one of the documents left behind by Uncle Liu Erning. From the reference I learned Sheng Shuren was a man arrested along with Uncle Erning in Xushui, Hebei Province, in the summer...

Does the News Need Legislating?

Lu Yuan
Does China need "news legislation?" This is a question frequently asked as journalism develops in the country. It recently resurfaced following a Caixin report on the flourishing IPO extortion industry. The practice,...

Hong Kong Media Office Attacked

Te-Ping Chen and Fiona Law
WSJ: China Real Time Report
The office of a news publication in Hong Kong was attacked by four masked men Wednesday, sending shockwaves through the city’s traditionally free-wheeling journalism community. Witnesses said that in the early afternoon on Wednesday, four...

The Return of Activist Journalism in China

Haiyan Wang
Financial Times
We journalists in China live in a paradoxical universe. There is much you in the west know that we do not, though some of it we can pick up from those websites to which we have access. We pick up news, for example, about the fate of Bo Xilai, the...

Media

07.05.12

Powerless Media=Powerless Citizens, Says China Youth Daily Editorial

Amy Qin
Tapping into widespread public frustration with corruption among government officials, advocates of press freedom in China seem to have found an effective tool with which to ally citizens to the journalistic cause. In a July 3 editorial published in...

China Youth Daily Editorial on Journalists' Powerlessness

David Bandurski
China Media Project
Making waves today in China — at least in media circles — is an editorial on the Shi Junrong case written by journalist Cao Lin (曹林) in China Youth Daily, a newspaper published by the Chinese Communist Youth League with a longstanding reputation for...

Global Times Editor Under Fire

Anne Henochowicz
China Digital Times
Not a trace of the July 1 Hong Kong protests can be seen on mainland Chinese media, and “sensitive words” surrounding the rallies have been scrubbed from major Web platforms. So Global Times Chief Editor Hu Xijin’s Weibo post addressing, in English...

Media

07.03.12

Project Harmony: The Chorus behind China’s Voice

Amy Qin
With a population of more than 1.3 billion people, can there really be such thing as a single “voice of China”? According to the Chinese government, the answer is, without question, yes. Not only does there exist a “China's voice” or a “Chinese...

Prize-Winning Reporter Driven from SCMP

Paul Mooney
Asia Sentinel
On April 22, Wang Xiangwei, the new editor-in-chief of the South China Morning Post, informed me that my contract with the newspaper would not be renewed when it expired on May 21. I can’t say I was surprised.

No Weibo for the New York Times

Anne Henochowicz
China Digital Times
The New York Times Chinese-language venture, launched this Wednesday, is off to a bumpy start. While the website itself is running, the site’s Sina Weibo account went down just hours after its launch. It was up again on Thursday evening. “Given that...

China Blocks Access to Bloomberg and Businessweek Sites

BBC
Web users in mainland China are unable to access Bloomberg's websites, after they were blocked by local authorities. The news agency thinks the move is a response to an article published about the fortunes of Vice President Xi Jinping's...

Hong Kong Journalists Warn of Self-Censorship

Te-Ping Chen
WSJ: China Real Time Report
As the 15th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to mainland China on July 1 approaches, local journalists say that press freedoms have eroded in recent years and self-censorship is on the rise. According to a survey by the Hong Kong Journalist’s...

South China Morning Post Editor Under Fire

David Watkins
Agence France-Presse
The first China-born editor of Hong Kong's flagship English-language paper admits he made a "bad call" in cutting coverage of a mainland dissident's death, but denies he is a stooge for Beijing. The South China Morning Post'...

Old Grey Lady in Red China

Isaac Stone Fish
Foreign Policy
The New York Times this week launched cn.nytimes.com, its first foreign-language website, joining several Western newspapers and media outlets like the BBC, Forbes, Newsweek, and Time that have published Chinese-language editions, with varying...

NYTimes To Launch Chinese-Language News Site

Christine Haughney
New York Times
The New York Times is introducing a Chinese-language Web site, part of a continuing effort to expand its reach to international readers. The site, which is called cn.nytimes.com and will go live Thursday morning, is intended to draw readers from the...

As Western Media Contract, the China Daily Expands

Mark MacKinnon
Globe and Mail
These are unsettling times to be a journalist. I spent part of my Sunday afternoon watching “Page One,” a movie documenting the funereal mood inside The New York Times newsroom, while highlighting the seemingly insurmountable challenges facing “...

Media

06.23.12

Self-Censorship at the South China Morning Post?

Amy Qin
According to an article published on June 19 in the Asia Sentinel, an internal squabble at the Hong Kong-based English language newspaper the South China Morning Post has led some to raise questions regarding the journalistic ethics of the long-...

Media

06.11.12

Did A CCTV Anchor’s Outburst Even Matter?

Hu Yong
Yang Rui, a host on China Central Television's (CCTV) English-language channel, called on the Public Security Bureau via Sina Weibo on May 16 to “clean out foreign trash, wipe out foreign snake heads (human smugglers), root out foreign spies,...

A National Debate on 'Proper' Corruption

Helen Gao
Atlantic
In the airtight Chinese print media world, where officials wield the power to splash the same headline across many newspaper front pages or to keep a taboo subject out of even obscure one-line advertisements, editorials are usually painless...

Books

04.24.12

Changing Media, Changing China

Susan L. Shirk (editor)
Thirty years ago, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) made a fateful decision: to allow newspapers, magazines, television, and radio stations to compete in the marketplace instead of being financed exclusively by the government. The political and social implications of that decision are still unfolding as the Chinese government, media, and public adapt to the new information environment.Edited by Susan Shirk, one of America's leading experts on contemporary China, this collection of essays brings together a who's who of experts—Chinese and American—writing about all aspects of the changing media landscape in China. In detailed case studies, the authors describe how the media is reshaping itself from a propaganda mouthpiece into an agent of watchdog journalism, how politicians are reacting to increased scrutiny from the media, and how television, newspapers, magazines, and Web-based news sites navigate the cross-currents between the open marketplace and the CCP censors. China has over 360 million Internet users, more than any other country, and an astounding 162 million bloggers. The growth of Internet access has dramatically increased the information available, the variety and timeliness of the news, and its national and international reach. But China is still far from having a free press. As of 2008, the international NGO Freedom House ranked China 181 worst out of 195 countries in terms of press restrictions, and Chinese journalists have been aptly described as "dancing in shackles." The recent controversy over China's censorship of Google highlights the CCP's deep ambivalence toward information freedom.Covering everything from the rise of business media and online public opinion polling to environmental journalism and the effect of media on foreign policy, Changing Media, Changing China reveals how the most populous nation on the planet is reacting to demands for real news. —Oxford University Press

Sinica Podcast

03.23.12

L’affaire Daisey

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
If you smell anything burning, it’s likely your Internet cable melting from the heat of all these rumors. Which is why at Sinica we turn our unforgiving gaze this week at unsubstantiated press, foreign and domestic, focusing first on reports of...

Sinica Podcast

02.03.12

Running Dogs and Locusts

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Ongoing tension between Hong Kong and mainland citizens erupted into open flames on February 1, when a Hong Kong group raised more than HKD 100,000 to publish a full-page anti-China advertisement in the Apple Daily comparing mainlanders to parasitic...

Sinica Podcast

11.25.11

Occupy Sinica

Jeremy Goldkorn & Michael Anti from Sinica Podcast
Earlier this week, The New York Times published an editorial by prominent Chinese academic Yan Xuetong claiming that China would defeat the United States on the grounds of moral superiority. While the American bafflement over this piece has died...

Sinica Podcast

11.18.11

Is Soft Power Always This Damn Boring?

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
In some ways, the latest deluge of rhetoric from the Party feels timeless. Ever since Mao’s famous speech in Yan’an on literature and art in 1942, the CCP has made clear that culture ought to serve politics. But there’s also something new about the...

Sinica Podcast

11.04.11

The Extremes of China Media

Jeremy Goldkorn, David Moser & more from Sinica Podcast
It seems to be the consensus among longtime China watchers that the Chinese media has become more radicalized over the last five years, with both online and traditional channels now feeding the public conflicting stories of both reflexive scorn for...

My First Trip

09.17.11

Coming Home to a New Place Each Time

Liu Heung Shing
As a Hong Kong-born Chinese who is a naturalized U.S. citizen, it’s hard to pinpoint my first trip to China; at least, one that I remember clearly, for my real first trip was as a toddler, in 1953 in the arms of my mother who carried me to her...

Murdoch’s Chinese Adventure

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
During a Parliamentary hearing last week in London, the Murdochs, father and son, riveted television audiences with their combination of wide-eyed, hand-on-heart innocence (James), and long silences and “Yups” and “Nopes” (Rupert). After the elder...

Sinica Podcast

10.29.10

When Media Attacks

Gady Epstein, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
This week on Sinica, we find out what happens when the media attacks and China is caught in the crossfire. Specifically, recent weeks have brought us two prominent cases of bad press for China as the country gets caught in loaded battles fought by...

Books

10.01.10

When a Billion Chinese Jump

Jonathan Watts
As a young child, Jonathan Watts believed if everyone in China jumped at the same time, the earth would be shaken off its axis, annihilating mankind. Now, more than thirty years later, as a correspondent for The Guardian in Beijing, he has discovered it is not only foolish little boys who dread a planet-shaking leap by the world's most populous nation. When a Billion Chinese Jump is a road journey into the future of our species. Traveling from the mountains of Tibet to the deserts of Inner Mongolia via the Silk Road, tiger farms, cancer villages, weather-modifying bases, and eco-cities, Watts chronicles the environmental impact of economic growth with a series of gripping stories from the country on the front line of global development. He talks to nomads and philosophers, entrepreneurs and scientists, rural farmers and urban consumers, examining how individuals are trying to adapt to one of the most spectacular bursts of change in human history, then poses a question that will affect all of our lives: Can China find a new way forward or is this giant nation doomed to magnify the mistakes that have already taken humanity to the brink of disaster?  —Simon & Schuster

Reports

09.08.10

Winds From the East: How the People’s Republic of China Seeks to Influence the Media in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia

Douglas Farah and Andy Mosher
Center for International Media Assistance
The People’s Republic of China (P.R.C.) is using various components of public diplomacy to influence the media in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. China’s primary purposes appear to be to present China as a reliable friend and partner, as...

Sinica Podcast

05.28.10

Critical Media, Foreign and Domestic

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Is the “Western media” biased in its reporting about China? What are the frames and narratives that inform the Anglophone media’s understanding of the county, and what are the misunderstandings about the “Western media” that lead Chinese people into...

Reports

01.31.10

China Clings to Control: Press Freedom in 2009

Serenade Woo
International Federation of Journalists
It has been a tough year for press freedom in China, as the fading international spotlight on the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing emboldened central and provincial authorities to revert to clamping down on journalists and media that seek to present a...

Reports

07.01.08

China’s Forbidden Zones: Shutting the Media out of Tibet and Other “Sensitive” Stories

Human Rights Watch
This report focuses on the treatment of foreign journalists by the Chinese government. In the buildup to the Beijing 2008 Olympics, the authors contend, the Chinese government has tried to force foreign journalists to avoid sensitive issues. As a...

The Prodigal Sons

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
What do Xi Yang, Wei Jingsheng, and Wang Juntao have in common? Yes, they are all “counter-revolutionary elements, subversives, splittists, black hands”—whatever Peking cares to call them—and all three are familiar with the Party’s prison...

The Myth of Mao’s China

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
In China Misperceived Steven Mosher strikes back at the profession, clan, or family of China watchers that cast him out. The official reasons have never been made public, although his university, Stanford, hinted at academic misconduct when it...

The Price China Has Paid: An Interview with Liu Binyan

Nathan Gardels from New York Review of Books
Liu Binyan is a sixty-two-year-old writer and journalist who is regarded as the preeminent intellectual advocating reform in China today. During the mid-1950s and again throughout the post-Mao period, he has strongly criticized Communist party...