II Places

China and the digital era

FJJiMg Haiyan and Fan Jichen

Many people may think that there is no investigative journalism in the Peoples Republic of China. In fact, as a journalistic genre partly drawing on the Chinese tradition of critical reporting and partly modelled on the Anglo-American techniques, investigative journalism has been practiced in the Chinese media for several decades. The general belief is that investigative journalism in China burgeoned in the 1980s in the wake of economic reforms. Among the earlier examples, between July and August 1980, were the reports on the sinking of the Bohai No. 2 oil-drilling ship by the state media such as Workers’ Daily, People’s Daily and Xinhua news agency, which not only exposed the actual death toll but also criticised the government bureaucracy responsible for the disaster. As a result of the reporting, two ministers and several other officials were sacked, which was rare in China at that time. Since then, critical reporting and the exposure of social problems, disasters, policy failures, and even official corruption has gradually become a routine part of Chinese journalism. In the 1990s, with China further opening up to the world and gathering pace in economic reform, investigative journalism developed at phenomenal speed. The establishment of a wide range of commercially oriented newspapers, magazines and TV programmes, such as Southern Weekend, Southern Metropolitan Daily, Caijing Magazine, China Youth Daily’s Frozen Point Weekly, CCTV’s Neu's Probe and so on, has greatly inspired nationwide media houses and journalists to pursue critical reporting. In particular, the late 1990s and early 2000s marked the heyday of Chinese investigative journalism. The widely remembered cases such as the reporting of Sun Zhigang’s death in 2003 iLeiRiJZ.JE1, the Sanlu Milk Scandal in 2008 —and Chenzhou officials’ corruption in 2006 WIMM3E3 were all products of this period of time, creating a “golden age” of Chinese journalism when the Chinese audiences saw a swelling number of investigative reports that covered a wide range of social problems; some forced changes to the law, some brought down government officials and some saved citizens’ lives.

Nevertheless, as we get to the second decade of the new millennium, investigative journalism in China has experienced profound changes. The rise of new media, especially the wide adoption of social media technologies, has moved news readership and advertisements from offline to online, and changed the ecosystem of Chinese media. Together with the collapse of the advertisementbased business model of traditional media and changing face of politics and administration, Chinese investigative journalism has reconfigured its grounds, practices and forms.

The editor of this book and author of this chapter are among the many who have written (i.e. de Burgh, 2003a, 2003b; Wang, 2016a, 2016b) about the development of Chinese investigative journalism and its practices in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. But very few wrote about how it has been practiced similarly or differently in the 2010s. In this chapter, our focus is the “new era”, namely the second decade of the new millennium, or the “digital era”. We will first analyze the changes in the technological, political and economic environment and contextualise the practice of Chinese investigative journalism in the 2010s. We will then analyze the key features of the practice of Chinese investigative journalism as it shifted away from the “golden age” to the new era. Following that, we will particularly focus on the changing mode of production of investigative journalism, by case studying former TV host Cui Yongyuan’s WtKtC endeavour to expose the tax scandal of entertainment celebrities and the genetically modified food (GMF) controversy based on personalised social media. We will conclude by discussing the industrial and sociopolitical implications of Chinese investigative journalism moving from legacy media to online media and from professional production to amateur production.

The changing media environment in China in the “new era”

The 2010s are called a “new era” of Chinese investigative journalism because they involve new dynamics in all three big areas impacting Chinese society and media: technology; economy and politics (Wang & Sparks, 2019). Although the three aspects are often intertwined, it is worth examining each independently so that we can understand better why and how investigative journalism might be influenced.

New media technologies based on the Internet have gained rapid development in China in recent years, entering every corner of society and significantly reshaping peoples daily lives. According to the latest report of the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC),4 the number of Chinese netizens has reached 829 million in 2018, rising by 265 million since 2012. The Internet penetration rate has grown from 42.1% to 59.6% in this period, and among the overall Chinese netizens, 98.6% (or 817 million people) use mobile phones to get access to the Internet. At the same time, particularly noticeable is that 81.4% of Chinese netizens (or 675 million) consume news from the Internet, and mobile news users have reached 653 million, accounting for 79.9% of Chinese mobile netizens. These are not just dry figures. Behind the figures is a massive movement of news consumers migrating from offline to online, and particularly mobile phones, in this, the most populated country in the world.

On facing these changes, many legacy news organisations gradually realised that the Internet is a significant site to compete for the attention of audience and in response have established news websites and applications. Some media organisations have even given up offline offerings and turned to online-news-only operation. For instance, Oriental Morning Post a subsidiary of

Shanghai Media Group, was closed on January 1, 2017, and its news reporting business and other functions all turned to The Paper (thepaper.cn).

Also, social media and platform media, such as жГО, WeChat (пИіз, Today’s Headlines ЖЕІ/ЕлЖ and TikTok Î4ÎT, have flourished in this period and attracted several hundreds of millions of daily active users. Many organisations and individuals make use of these platforms to establish their own media. They label themselves “we media” or “self media” Еійк'ЇФ and release different kinds of information products on a regular basis and with immeasurable quantity, whether through text, images or videos, whether as personalised journals, promotions or news. These new kinds of information providers and platforms have become a powerful challenge to the legacy news organisations. They compete with legacy media not only for audience attention but also for advertising revenue, which used to be the major organisational and financial ground for the practice of investigative journalism in the pre-digital era.

On the economic side, the flourishing of new media outlets, especially those based on social media, has threatened traditional medias ability to generate revenue. Although revenue fall has been a long-standing phenomenon in Western media, it is a phenomenon relatively new to Chinese media. The so-called “golden age”’ of Chinese journalism was made possible largely because of the success of the media economy, which lasted for about 20 years, from the end of last century to the beginning of this century. The Chinese media economy boomed without any serious interruption during this period of time, and many media organisations grew to be powerhouses of the national or local economy. It is only recently that media organisations started to experience revenue fall. To many people inside the Chinese media industry, it is a sudden, unexpected, unprepared-for yet drastic fall. According to official statistics, the turning point of advertising revenues of Chinese media appeared in 2012, while that of circulation appeared in 2013. A report on the development of Chinas media industry (2018—2019), which was published by a research group at Tsinghua University, argued that Chinese newspapers have entered a period of “cliff-like drop” in advertising revenues since 2012. Advertising revenues

of the newspapers in 2018 only accounted for 15.7% of that in 2011/’ At the same time, newspaper readership has fallen drastically, too. According to reports from the General Administration of Press and Publications (GAPP), the highest number of printed copies of Chinese newspapers was 48.24 billion in total in 2013. Since then, the drop began and has been persistently deep. The rate of fall is by 9—10% each year, and in 2018, total printed copies recorded a low of 33,73 billion copies, less than 70% that of 2013.7

At the same time, it is necessary to bear in mind that most Chinese media organisations are state run. They are often affiliated with a larger media group at national, provincial or municipal levels, which contain a politically oriented “party” outlet and at least one other, commercially oriented, or “metro”, title. The former plays a central political and propagandistic role and is mainly supported by subsidies, while the latter is most often supported entirely by advertising and circulation revenues. With the overall fall of the media economy, commercially oriented titles have experienced many more difficulties than politically oriented ones. And it is the former which had been the major engine of carrying out investigative reporting in the “golden age”.

In order to survive through the financial difficulties, many news organisations attempted to reform their traditional business model and organisation structure. On the one hand, new investments are made into infrastructure and manpower, supporting the establishment of convergent newsrooms and online offerings. On the other hand, expenses in the production of traditional journalism genres, especially those involving long time and high costs, such as international reporting and investigative reporting, are cut and minimised. Some media organisations have tried to generate readership revenue through online paywalls to compensate for the loss offline. Caixin magazine the major provider of investigative reporting in business and finance in China, is one of the pioneers. But so far it has shown no sign that this is going to be a workable solution, as people are adept at consuming news free from the internet. Other media organisations have tried to diversify revenue sources by turning to non-journalism business, such as cultural industries, property development, e-commerce and so on. More aggressively, there are also those who seek to remove the firewall between newsrooms and advertising departments and try to involve journalists in activities unrelated to journalism to pursue commercial interests. Amidst these changes, many media organisations dismissed their investigative reporting teams and closed investigation programmes, titles or pages, and a large number of journalists were laid off or resigned. According to a report8 in Shanghai Journalism Review, at least 52 investigative journalists left their traditional media jobs from 2009—2015. Among them were CCTV’s Wang Lifen Southern Weekend’s Fu Jianfeng

'РО'ІШ, Oriental Morning Post’s Jian Guangzhou Myt/JI'l, Beijing

News’ МЖЖ Liu Binglu and Huashang Daily’s Jiang Xue'ZElf, all famous names in Chinese investigative journalism of the “golden age”. All these tend to suggest that, as the bottom line is threatened, it seems unrealistic to expect continuous and robust production of investigative journalism in the legacy media.

Politically, the coming into power of President Xi Jinping АІ Й'І2 since 2012 has meant that greater importance is attached to journalism in assisting the administration of the government and ruling party'. From the end of

2015 to the beginning of 2016, Xi inspected major media houses, including PLA Daily People’s Daily AKBiR, Xinhua News Agency

and China Central Television (CCTV). In early 2019, he led the members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) central committee to inspect the new media building of People’s Daily AKBiR once again. By October 2018, Xi had published 14 speeches and 5 congratulatory letters on news, propaganda, public opinion, the Internet and other topics related to journalistic work.9 Among these, the more important and influential conferences include National Propaganda and Ideological Work Conference ^0 held on 19 August 2013, and The Party’s

News and Public Opinion Work Symposium held on

19 February 2016. Xi’s thoughts on news and public opinion are mainly about how media and journalism should adhere to the correct political direction and public opinion orientation in the changing technological environment. As Xi stressed, all media in China should carry “Party as its surname”. Facing the new demands from the top leadership, investigative journalism, which is traditionally critical and challenging in terms of reporting style, is made more difficult.

The main features of investigative journalism in China today

The changing technological, economic and political dynamics have reshaped the media ecology and consequently influenced how investigative journalism is practiced. We contend that compared to the second “golden age”, investigative journalism in the 2010s has new features at least in four aspects, namely new platforms, new actors, new routines and new reporting topics.

First of all, the publishing platforms for investigative reports have gradually shifted from traditional TV programmes and printed newspapers or magazines to social media. The publishers on social media include the investigative journalism departments of legacy news organisations and the so-called “we media” operated by individual users. The latter can sometimes be more powerful, in the sense that they are often able to attract greater attention of netizens, arouse more heated discussion and stronger public opinion and put more pressure on the relevant agencies. For example, on 22 July 2018, WeChat account “ishoulc” (shouye) ij-Ji published a feature entitled Yimiao zhi Wang

(literally, the King of Vaccines),10 exposing the fake vaccine business of one of the biggest vaccine manufacturers in China, the Changchun Changsheng Biotechnology Co. Ltd pi'ii Arfl. It went viral soon

after the release. In the fust hour of its publication, more than 2 million WeChat users read the report online. This is a number comparable to the readership size of a national-scale comprehensive newspaper which would be deemed successful in the “golden age”. The coverage led the company to recall all problematic vaccines, pay a 9.1-billion-KMN fine and sack its chairwoman and 14 top management personnel." The Association of Applied Journalism and Communication of China awarded the report “Top Ten Innovative Cases of Applied Journalism and Communication in 2018”. Similarly, a number of other “we media” platforms, such as Dingxiang Doctor TWÊÎE, Low Voice

tt, Optical Valley Guest and others achieved success in the

same fashion. Their investigative stories online covered diverse topics, arousing nationwide concerns from the public, and forced the mainstream media to follow and the government to respond.

Second, as to the actors in investigative journalism, professional journalists from institutional news organisations wane, while amateurs wax. In recent years, for technological, economic and political reasons mentioned previously, the number of investigative journalists has been greatly reduced. Research by a team in Guangzhou-based Sun Yat-sen University shows that in 2011. there were 259 journalists nationwide working on investigative journalism, while by 2017, 57.5% of them had moved elsewhere, and only 130 still remain in the area.12 Not only has the number of investigative journalists shrunk drastically, but so has the number of media organisations housing them. The 130-some investigative journalists are highly concentrated in about nine news outlets, such as The Paper based in Shanghai, and Caixin Media

based in Beijing, which means that the geographical scale of investigative journalism coverage is limited.

However, at the same time, investigative journalism on social media platforms has flourished, and new actors have emerged. Some of the new actors are former investigative journalists of institutional news organisations, such as the founders of Home of the Beast and Optical Valley Guest. After their leaving the job in legacy media, they continue to conduct investigative journalism based on social media, regarding it as a means of experimental entrepreneurship or a channel to express their own opinions. For example, Wang Keqin zEÆsÙ, the former journalist of China Economic Times ’I1 [3Uéïr.ÎÿrH'J 4l4., established a charity organisation called Love Cleans Up (liter

ally, great love helps to clean the dust) to provide pneumoconiosis patients with medical advice and legal suggestions. Social media have become a very important channel for him and for volunteers on the team to disseminate information about their activities and raise funds. Also based on it, Wang Keqin himself continues to expose problems in society in the form of reporting, especially on topics related to migrant workers, environment, pollution and poverty. He regards his career as a special kind of investigative journalism. Many “we media” hosts similarly choose areas of their concern and conduct investigative journalism. Another prominent example is Dingxiangyisheng T (tffeiÎÈ, which aims at promoting public health to metropolitan audiences. Publishing investigative reports has become its routinised practice and an effective mechanism to disseminate health-related information.

Third, production routines of investigative journalism have changed. This is mainly reflected in the changes in the sources of news and the way readers, or users, are involved. With the rapid development of social media, user-generatedcontent (UGC) and civic journalism, ‘supervision of public opinion’13 by neti-zens has become common practice in China. Much influential investigative coverage originates from users’ exposure on the Internet and then is picked up by the mainstream media, which continue to facilitate and conduct further investigation. In some cases, users of social media not only play the role of whistleblower but are active investigators who actually involve themselves directly in the production of investigative journalism. This is totally different from the traditional routine of investigative journalism in which it is a professional process mainly taking place within news organisations. For example, on 14 November 2018, a netizen named Huazong DiuleJingubang áziííbW

published a short documentary called The Secret of Cups Й 'fi on Weibo,

disclosing the cleaning irregularities of several five-star hotels in mainland China. Once published, this short film spread rapidly and widely on the Internet. Later, it received high attention from the mainstream media, such as People’s Daily AKBffi, Guangzhou Daily В Ш, Beijing News and so on, and caused intervention by relevant departments of government, achieving an even better effect than some reports produced by professional news organisations.

Last but not least, the reporting topics of investigative journalism are significantly different. In the “golden age”, investigative journalism in China heavily targeted “hard” topics such as abuses of power and wrongdoings of government departments and officials. But today, it tends to deal with “softer” topics such as health, environment, ordinary peoples livelihoods and so on. Partly, this is due to the change in the political environment. Governments at all levels have strengthened control over mainstream media to limit the coverage of sensitive issues so that social stability may be maintained. At the same time, law and regulations prohibit alternative media (based on social media) from conducting ‘formal’journalistic activities in the domain of‘hard’ topics. As a result, ‘soft’ topics seem to be a good fit for all media.

A case study: Cui Yongyuan’s practice of investigative journalism

Cui Yongyuan ЖАлі is well known in China. He used to be one of the most popular TV hosts; now he is rather controversial. He was born in Tianjin in 1963. After his graduation from the Communication University' of China (CUC) in 1985, he started a journalism career in China National Radio (CNR). In 1998, he transferred to China Central Television and gradually became a popular figure onscreen. In his early' day's at CCTV, he hosted different kinds of programmes, both news and entertainment, and he even played roles in comedy' shows and films. Later he focused on two news programmes; one was Oriental Horizon ААТ'Ілі, a TV magazine, and the other Tell It Like It Is 'AASAlA a current affairs commentary show. Both programmes bear some features of investigative journalism, as he often targeted sensitive social issues or current affairs topics, and the style of reporting or commenting was critical. In 2013, Cui resigned from CCTV and became a TV documentary lecturer at CUC. At the same time, he served as a member of the national committee of the Chinese Peoples Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). Since then, he has no longer been a full-time career journalist working for any formal media organisation, but, based on social media, he has been able to utilise the social, political and cultural capital he has accumulated as a TV celebrity and public figure over the years to engage in the production and dissemination of investigative content as an individual and an independent journalist.

Two typical cases of Cui’s investigative journalism based on social media are investigations on the safety of genetically modified food in 2013 and exposure of the tax scandal involving entertainment celebrities in 2018. These cases reflect not only the new features of investigative journalism in China today but also illustrate the possibilities and limits of such journalism in bringing about social changes in the new media environment. We examine each in turn in the following.

Case 1: Investigation on the safety of genetically modified food

When Cui began his personal investigations on GMF, he had already resigned from CCTV His name became associated with GMF first because of an online debate he had with Fang Zhouzi a net-based public intellectual. While

Fang called upon netizens to support GMF production in China as a measure of solving food shortages and rallied a group of volunteers from online to join a GM corn harvesting and tasting tour, Cui questioned his motives and pointed out that the safety' of GMF had not been proved and that GMF could contain huge health risks. The two sides challenged each other as to “whether or not GMF is eatable” on their respective Weibo accounts, on which both had millions of followers. In order to further understand the issue, in December of the same year, Cui conducted a reporting trip to the United States with the aim of shooting a documentary and enhancing public awareness of the issue. He visited six cities, including Los Angeles, Davis, San Diego, Chicago and Seattle, and interviewed more than 50 people, including academics, public intellectuals, food dealers, consumers from local communities, members of social organisations and so on. On 1 March 2014, the report, Cui’s Investigation of GMF in the United States was released.14 The

68-minute documentary immediately attracted huge attention from the public. In the film, Cui showed the Chinese public how the scientific community; policy' makers and society debated the safety of GMF in the United States and how a restrictive policy has been imposed on mass production of GMF due to the lack of scientific evidence supporting its safety. Cui ended the show with a personalised line: “This is my investigation. If you don’t believe me, you can come to see it for yourself”.

Its worth mentioning that in order to avoid any conflict of interest in the reporting and to be “objective” and “fair” as a detached journalist, Cui refused any sponsorship before the trip and paid all the expenses out of his own pocket, which was later estimated at nearly one million R.MB.13 Besides, Cui carried no CCTV title when he began this investigation. According to Cui, were he still a CCTV host, it would have been impossible to be involved in this project, because the organisational rules of CCTV do not allow staff to participate in personalised internet-based journalism.16 In this sense, removing the formal title from a legacy media organisation actually released Cui’s power as an individual journalist.

Since then, Cui has turned himself into a “warrior” against GMF. He paid close attention to its development in China and constantly involved himself in discussions with netizens online or with the general public offline. He even used his role in national politics and took the issue to the “two sessions” the annual assembly of the National Peoples Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of People’s Political Consultative Conference, demanding that the Agricultural Ministry thoroughly investigate the issue and be accountable for relevant polices regarding the adoption of GMF in Chinese fields and introduction of GMF in the Chinese market.17 Although government officials did not respond to his demand directly, the dynamics of policy-making in front of the public did show signs of greater care in the subsequent years. At the same time, the public awareness of GMF safety is greatly improved. Many ordinary Chinese people choose to trust Cui and regard him a custodian of conscience no less than a former CCTV journalist. As for Cui himself, GMF safety continues to be one of his major concerns and causes today.

Case II: Exposure of tax scandal involving entertainment celebrities

Apart from the safety of GMF, Cui also exposed several social events, among which the tax scandal involving entertainment celebrities in 2018 was probably the most influential. On 25 May 2018, Cui posted copies of several contracts between a film star and an investor on Weibo. He stated that some entertainment celebrities had secretly evaded taxes by signing “yin-yang contracts” KRW'n'R, meaning dual contracts, with a small, taxable one in front of the public eyes (the yang contract) and a big, untaxable one under the table (the yin contract). One of these contracts clearly showed that Fan Bingbing a 36-year-old superstar, was involved. She signed a taxable yang contract worth ten million KMB, while there was also a non-taxable yin contract worth five times more for one of her many film performances. The post attracted huge attention immediately, given the wealth involved and the fame of both Fan and Cui. Fan Bingbing’s studio started public relations eff orts swiftly, first denying the charge and vowing to sue Cui but later admitting the charges and apologising to Cui.

At the same time, Cui s online exposure raised the concern of the authorities. On 3 June, the State Taxation Administration (STA) claimed through its official website that it would thoroughly investigate the tax problems of the entertainment businesses. Later, local tax authorities and police stepped in to investigate Fan and her brokerage firm. All these were accompanied by intense reporting of legacy media and online media, which tried to get more information from Cui or investigate the long-standing black holes of taxation in the entertainment industry. In the process, Cui told the journalists that Fan’s contract was only a small example from the problematic contracts he had collected, and he had a drawer of such materials, involving many “big names” people could imagine.

Cui did not post more contracts dealing with any particular individual film celebrities. But the impact on Fan Bingbing has been severe. On 3 October, Xinhua reported that the STA’s investigation has proved that Fan Bingbing committed tax fraud. The total amount of overdue tax and fines she needed to pay back was 883 million KMB. Fan didn’t revolt. She responded that she fully accepted the decision of tax authorities and sincerely apologised to the public for her behaviour. This was a deadly blow to the film career of Fan, once the most popular film star in China. Her studio was closed down, many commercial contracts involving her were suspended, the films in which she acted were pulled and she no longer appeared at public events. Meanwhile, the whole film industry experienced a tax earthquake. STA and its local authorities started to look into the tax records of all companies in the sector. The decade-old tax regulation of the industry was reformed. The general rate of tax was increased from 3-7% to about 20%.18 Many individuals, including famous film directors and performers, were subject to huge sums of overdue tax payment and fines. Xinhua reported that by the end of the year, the total sum of overdue tax STA recovered from the film industry amounted to 11.747 billion KMB.19

Needless to say, Cui Yongyuan played a hugely important role in the case, which is telling of the practice and dynamics of contemporary investigative journalism in China. Individual users of social media first expose clues online, attracting traffic and drawing attention from the general public as widely as possible. Then, the mainstream media follow up and relevant government authorities intervene, leading eventually to the correction of wrongs and changes in people’s lives. Although not every individual on social media has the influence of Cui, the case did show that in the digital era, investigative journalism conducted in the non-institutional domain is not only possible but also maybe even more powerful.


Investigative journalism is an important component of journalism. By monitoring power, exposing corruption and wrongdoing, responding to social concerns and fighting against social injustice, investigative journalism worldwide is depicted as “custodian of conscience” and regarded as embodiment of the “watchdog” function of journalism. From the early 1980s, this journalism genre reappeared in Chinas media. Alongside economic reform and social liberalisation, it has experienced decades of rapid development. By promoting the public’s right to know, correcting wrongs in society' and holding power responsible and accountable, investigative journalism (IJ) has earned for its practitioners an elite status and contributed to the making of a new “golden age” of Chinese journalism. In recent years, however, influenced by technological, economic and political changes, investigative journalism has experienced difficulties. Although many hold a rather gloomy view of its future or think that digitalisation threatens traditional forms of IJ, there have also been opportunities for new IJ practices to grow.

Among the diverse forms being experimented with, especially' noticeable is IJ practice based on social media and conducted by non-professionals. In the era of social media, Chinese citizens have more opportunities to express themselves and participate in public affairs than ever before; they can turn themselves into investigators. Cui Yongyuan’s work is an illustration of the potential.

There are concerns. The new IJ is conducted by' amateurs who do not necessarily have long-term commitment; this raises the matter of sustainability and continuity'. It depends upon the individual’s ability and will to mobilise public opinion, but they vary, and so will their influence. There is no established code of ethics governing their behaviour. Finally, there is the possibility' of manipulation by' special interests and lack of transparency. Nevertheless, as an experiment, investigative journalism based on social media is valuable, and its future development worthy of our attention and observation.


1 Sun Zhigang •f'l'afcH1! was a college graduate detained for being unable to produce

his identity card when stopped by police. Soon he was found dead in detention. Two journalists from the local Southern City Daily JR investigated. Their report of

  • 25 April 2003 revealed that Sun had been beaten to death. The report caught public attention and eventually' led to the repeal of the Detention Law ft $lj If.
  • 2 Reported first by' Oriental Morning Post ?fiyT-¥-JR on 11 September 2008 by its journalist Jian Guangzhou awarded a national journalism prize for it.
  • 3 This case led to the downfall of 158 local officials, including the three leading executives. Investigations by Southern City' Daily' ifjZ; /¡f illI JR journalist Long Zhi Jf.ii were most influential.
  • 4 CNNIC (Feb, 2019). Statistical report on Chinas internet development1j4HIhlDtM ‘ft

JR ₽f, available at: www.cac.gov.cn/2019-02/28/c_1124175677.htm

  • 5 Wang uses this expression for the 1980s and 90s, but it was originally used by' other authors to describe the 1920s—30s -ed.
  • 6 The statistics are according to Cui Baoguo et. al. (2019) (ed.) Report on Development of China’s Media Industry •J4 JRia, Beijing: Tsinghua University


7 These figures are calculated and summarized by' the authors. Original statistics are based on GAPP’s annually released Analysis and Report on the Press Industry Jiffl’fl

₽f from 2013 to 2019. The newest report was released on 28 August 2019, available at: www.chinaxwcb.com/info/555985

  • 8 This is according to Chen Min ИИЙ (2016). Goodbye to the “Golden Age”: A Discourse Analysis of 52 Journalists’ Resignation from Traditional Media "и
  • - Я^52('И$^^'№ЛЙЗЯ1д Shanghai Journalism Review ЙГЙЙ#,


  • 9 This is according to Chen Lian (2019). Xi Jinping’s 14 Speeches and 5 Congratulatory Letters about Journalism and Public Opinion ^1гЙЯ1'&2Е'(1Е:Й)14>|чУ]Ч)5^В5>|ч
  • (a. Journalism Lover iff, 1:47-49.
  • 10 The original article has been deleted, but many reprints remain visible on the Internet. One of the reprints is available at: www.freebuf.com/column/178589.html
  • 11 This is according to Xinhua News Agency’s reporting on 16 Oct. 2018. Available at: www.xinhuanet.com/politics/2018-10/16/c_l 29972780.htm
  • 12 The report was conducted by Zhang Zhian and Cao Yanhui Й (2017). Report

on the Changes of Ecosystem in Chinese Investigative Journalists in the Era of New Media

TФ Ш и". Modern Communication

  • 11:27-33.
  • 13 Supervision by public opinion is a Chinese expression in use since at least

before the 1990s —ed.

  • 14 The documentary is available at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3bzTRSK18c
  • 15 This is according to an interview with Cui Yongyuan Ж/КТЕ by a Southern Weekend pr-fZi Ж1Ж journalist on 23 Jan. 2014. Available at: www.infzm.com/content/97730
  • 16 This is according to another interview with Cui Yongyuan -SzKTL by a Beijing News ЙМЖ journalist on 22 Dec. 2013. Available at: www.bjnews.com.cn/inside/ 2013/12/22/298566.html
  • 17 Cui also, rather wittily, exposed the fact that although the ministry advocated GMF for the nation, it prohibited it in its own ministerial staff canteen -ed.
  • 18 This is according to reporting by Sina.com on 1 Dec. 2018. Available at: https://finance. sina.com.cn/china/2018-12-01/doc-ihmutuec5399873.shtml
  • 19 This is according to reporting by Xinhua News Agency on 22 Jan. 2019. Available at: www.xinhuanet.com/ent/2019-01/22/c_l 124026529.htm


de Burgh, H. (2003a). Kings Without Crowns? The Re-Emergence of Investigative Journalism in China. Media Culture & Society, Vol. 25(6):801—820.

de Burgh, H. (2003b). The Chinese Journalist: Mediating Information in the World’s Most Populous Country. London and New York: Routledge.

Wang, H. (2016a). The Transformation of Investigative Journalism in China: From Journalists to Activists. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Wang, H. (2016b). Intellectual-Run-Newspapers Versus Statesman-Run-Newspapers: Wrestling Between Two Journalistic Paradigms in Pre-Reform China, 1949-1978. Journalism Practice, Vol. 10(5):663-679.

Wang, H. & Sparks, C. (2019). Chinese Newspaper Groups in the Digital Era: The Resurgence of the Party Press. Journal of Communication, Vol. 69(1):94— 119.

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