The Fog of Censorship: Media Control in China is an expanded, English-language edition of He Qinglian’s 2004 groundbreaking study of China’s media censorship system, Media Control in China. It analyzes 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. He Qinglian (何清涟) is an economist from China and is the author of several books, including China’s Pitfall. She has been living in the United States since 2001.
The focus of this report is the legal status of internal migrants in four of China's major cities, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. It describes the discriminatory laws and policies that make internal migrants second class citizens, essentially leaving 10 to 20 percent of the poorest residents of these cities virtually without rights. Since the poorest and most vulnerable among the rural-to-urban migrants are least able to circumvent the mechanisms of control, due to their lack of money and influence, and are most likely to be subject to official and popular discrimination, their experience is the report's principal subject matter.