A Human Rights in China publication
The Fog of Censorship: Media Control in China
Author: He Qinglian
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The Chinese government, in its effort to maintain political and social control, imposes severe limitations on access to information, as well as the right to freedoms of expression and of association. It devotes significant resources to censorship and control of the media, the Internet, non-governmental organizations, and political and religious expression.
Based upon detailed research and analysis, The Fog of Censorship: Media Control in China describes how media control in China is carried out through an elaborate architecture of pervasive Party supervision, a broad and vague state secrets system, stringent publishing and licensing mechanisms, control over key personnel, and the concentration of press groups under a handful of media organizations operating directly under the Party. He Qinglian also describes how new technologies, provided in part by Western companies, have strengthened Internet surveillance and censorship.
About the Author
A graduate of Hunan Normal University, with a master's degree in economics from Shanghai's Fudan University, He Qinglian worked in the propaganda department of the municipal Communist Party Committee in Shenzhen before becoming a writer and editor for the Shenzhen Legal Daily and working at Jinan University. In 1997, her book on the social and economic ills of China was published in Hong Kong under the title China's Pitfall. He Qinglian moved to the United States in 2001, and currently lives in Princeton, New Jersey. She is Senior Researcher in Residence at Human Rights in China.
Download entire book [PDF, 2.9M]
The Fog of Censorship: Media Control in China – Table of Contents
Shattering the Myths about China's Media Market
Media Control and Public Ignorance
Media control in China before 1978
Media control since "reform and opening-up" in 1978
The myth of China's "media reform" in 2003
Government Control of the Chinese Media
The law versus the constitution
The Chinese government's tracking and management of the media
"Unified news coverage" of major incidents
The political education and thought control of media professionals
The life and times of China's propaganda czars
The Political and Economic Control of Media Workers
The media's political pyramid
The function of rank
Case study: CCTV's "Focus"
"Internal (neibu) Documents" and the Secrecy System
Anything can be a state secret
Classified documents and public access to information
Chinese Journalists—Dancing in Shackles
Control of news sources and reporting
News blackouts of mining disasters
The use of violence
The Public Security Bureau and court orders
A Worker's Daily issue recalled
News Censorship and Half-truths
Interference in the Project Hope corruption scandal
Lies sprinkled with truth: The Nanjing poisoning case
Journalismas a High-risk Occupation
The death of Feng Zhaoxia
The arrest of Ma Hailin
The jailing of Gao Qinrong
The recall of a "reactionary book"
Jiang Weiping, jailed for subversion
Exposing official corruption as a punishable offense
A Prickly Rosebush Cut Off at the Root
Southern Weekend's heyday
Reasons for Southern Weekend's Survival
The gradual evisceration of Southern Weekend
Why was Southern Weekend rendered powerless?
Foreign Journalists in China
"Free" foreign journalists and "unfree" interviewees
Containing foreign journalists
Using foreign journalists
Foreign journalists in Chinese media
The stories of two foreign journalists
Foreign Investment in China's Media Industry
Chinese media off-limits to foreign investors
A pack of lies
Controlling access to foreign news in China
Can foreign investment bring press freedom?
The Hijacked Potential of China's Internet
The development of the Internet in China
The Chinese government's control of the Internet
China's "Big Brother"—the "Golden Shield"
The psychological Great Wall of China
The Chinese government's interference in the Internet
Media Control and Foreign Relations
The continued influence of Cold War ideology on China's international relations
Ideological indoctrination and the creation of enemies
The effect of propaganda on social ethics
The Chinese government's control over news and public opinion
Cheering in China after 9/11
How Far is China from Democracy?
Change and continuity in China
Spreading lies to the world
How far is China from democracy?
A democratic China's contribution to the world
Glossary of Publications