China’s Media in Cross Currents: Implications for Critical Journalism

Written by Rongbin Han. To a large extent, the development of Chinese media, particularly critical media, depends on the interaction between market forces, state control, and the rise of social media. Though they have benefited from marketization, softer ideological constraints, and the rise of digital media platforms, Chinese media have to deal with the repercussions …

China, Japan and the Media: The Politics and Business of Selective Remembering

Written by Wanning Sun. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of China’s ‘War against the Japanese Invasion’. It may therefore be an opportune moment to reflect on how the politics of remembering plays out in the Chinese media. Twenty years ago, while doing research for my doctoral dissertation (which was concerned with how …

The significance of sharing: Video in China

Written by Gianluigi Negro. In a famous Ted talk Chris Anderson stated that web video would drive a worldwide phenomenon he called Crowd Accelerated Innovation – a self-fueling cycle of learning that could be as significant as the invention of print. Although Anderson’s prediction sounds deterministic, the significance of video sharing and creativity has found a …

Mobile Film Projection in Socialist and Post-Socialist China

Written by Tina Mai Chen. The study of propaganda in socialist and post-socialist China generally focuses on the content and aesthetic conventions of specific genres of material including film, posters, and literature. Another area of scholarship attends to the political contexts that shape the production, circulation, and reception of propaganda. Less studied, but equally important …

From Holding up Half of Heaven to Learning How to Flirt

Written by Chris Berry. Amongst the most memorable commercial films on display at  the recently concluded Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy—for all the wrong reasons—was Pang Ho-Cheung (彭浩翔)’s Chinese-Hong Kong 2014 co-production, Women Who

Minority Dance, Minority Dancers

Written by Emily Wilcox. Most Americans would be hard-pressed to distinguish a waltz from a tango or a salsa from a jitterbug. However, in the People’s Republic of China, average citizens can easily identify and distinguish between Uyghur dance, Mongol dance, Tibetan dance, Korean dance, Dai dance, and so on. I know, because recently while …

Prolonged Calm: The Propaganda of Positive Thinking

Written by David Volodzko. In the Autumn of 1934 the Red Army began its Long March retreat to escape the grip of the Kuomintang. The bedraggled survivors arrived a year later in the town of Yan’an where they recouped under the command of Mao Zedong. By the time they took power and established the PRC …

The enduring themes of Chinese propaganda

Written by Matthew Johnson. Two of the most enduring and seemingly paradoxical features of China’s propaganda state are its staying power and steady decline. In English, the word ‘propaganda’ is often deployed as an epithet for media that appears crassly manipulative or one sided. Public relations firms, advertisers, newspapers, and governments may be accused of spreading …