Media of China
This article needs to be updated. In particular: New policies.June 2019)(
The Media of the People's Republic of China (alternatively Media of China, Chinese Media) consists primarily of television, newspapers, radio, and magazines. Since 2000, the Internet has also emerged as an important form of communication by media, and is placed under the supervision of the Chinese government.
Since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 and until the 1980s, almost all media outlets in Mainland China were state-run. Independent media outlets only began to emerge at the onset of economic reforms, although state-run media outlets such as Xinhua, CCTV, and People's Daily continue to hold significant market share. Independent media that operate within the PRC (excluding Hong Kong and Macau, which have separate media regulatory bodies) are no longer required to strictly follow journalistic guidelines set by the Chinese government.[failed verification] Hong Kong, though, is witnessing increasing complaints about self-censorship. However, regulatory agencies, such as the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) and the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT), continue to set strict regulations on subjects considered taboo by the government, including but not limited to the legitimacy of the Communist Party, government policies in Tibet and Xinjiang, pornography, and the banned religious topics, such as the Dalai Lama and the Falun Gong.
Despite heavy government monitoring, however, the Mainland Chinese media has become an increasingly commercial market, with growing competition, diversified content, and an increase in investigative reporting. Areas such as sports, finance, and the increasingly lucrative industries of Entertainment, Lifestyle, and Architecture / Interior Decoration of which some publications claiming up to 100,000 print run per month, face little regulation from the government. Media controls were most relaxed during the 1980s under Deng Xiaoping, until they were tightened in the aftermath of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Protests. They were relaxed again under Jiang Zemin in the late 1990s, but the growing influence of the Internet and its potential to encourage dissent led to heavier regulations again under the government of Hu Jintao. Reporters Without Borders consistently ranks China very poorly on media freedoms in their annual releases of the Press Freedom Index, labeling the Chinese government as having "the sorry distinction of leading the world in repression of the Internet". For 2019, China ranked 177 out of 180 nations.
- 1 History
- 2 Newspapers and journals
- 3 Regulators
- 4 Media reform
- 4.1 Diversified content
- 4.2 Talk radio
- 4.3 Magazines and journals
- 4.4 Greater prosperity and literacy
- 4.5 Ideological and political trends
- 4.6 Ideological shift
- 4.7 Skepticism toward authority
- 4.8 Contact with the West
- 4.9 Market competition
- 4.10 Improvements in personnel
- 5 Communist Party control
- 6 Official media channels
- 7 International operations
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
The government is heavily involved in the media in the PRC, and the largest media organizations (namely CCTV, the People's Daily, and Xinhua) are agencies of the Party-State: "The first social responsibility and professional ethic of media staff should be understanding their role clearly and being a good mouthpiece. Journalists who think of themselves as professionals, instead of as propaganda workers, are making a fundamental mistake about identity," Hu Zhanfan, the president of CCTV. Media taboos include topics such as the legitimacy of the Communist Party of China, the governance of Tibet, and Falun Gong. Within those restrictions there is a diversity of the media and fairly open discussion of social issues and policy options within the parameters set by the Party.
The diversity in mainland Chinese media is partly because most state media outlets no longer receive heavy subsidies from the government, and are expected to cover their expenses through commercial advertising. They can no longer merely serve as mouthpieces of the government, but also need to attract advertising through programming that people find attractive. While the government issues directives defining what can be published, it does not prevent, and in fact encourages outlets to compete for viewers and advertising.
The era of Government control over the Mainland Chinese media, however, has not come to an end. For example, the Government utilises financial incentives to manipulate journalists. Recently, though, the Government's command over the nation's media has begun to falter. 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. This paired with 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 concerning 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.  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 depth in analysis of political events, as this tends to be more politically sensitive.
Among social issues first reported in the press of mainland China include the unsafe state of mines in mainland China. In addition, the SARS coverup was first revealed by a fax to CCTV which was forwarded to Western news media.
China Bans 'Simpsons' From Prime-Time TV]. Associated Press: August 13, 2006</ref>