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Administration, Censorship and Control in the Chinese Media: The State of the Art


  • Thomas Scharping


While China’s policies of reform and opening-up have triggered far-reaching economic transformations in the media sector, and the leeway for uncensored reporting has widened, the principles of political supervision remain essentially unchanged. Despite some organizational reshuffling and recurrent jurisdictional adjustments, the basic bureaucratic set-up for enforcing media compliance with Party policies stays in line with the Leninist arrangements of the 1950s. The challenges for effective control posed by the technological revolution in mass communication have been met by new innovations in the monitoring and filtering of sensitive reports. Although rule by law has also spread to the media, it lags behind the standards reached in some other spheres of Chinese public life. Regulations stipulate a host of licensing requirements. They stress media duties and remain largely silent on media rights. The enforcement system is marked by strains between multiple actors and unresolved tensions with the principles of economic reform.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Scharping, 2007. "Administration, Censorship and Control in the Chinese Media: The State of the Art," Journal of Current Chinese Affairs - China aktuell, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 36(4), pages 96-118.
  • Handle: RePEc:gig:chaktu:v:36:y:2007:i:4:p:96-118

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