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Changing Media, Changing China 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0199751976
ISBN-10: 0199751978
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Editorial Reviews


"The Chinese and foreign contributors to this book provide a nuanced, clear analysis of the fluid relationship among the Communist Party, the media, and the public."--Foreign Affairs

"Susan Shirk has been at the forefront of Western academics explaining the constant changes and contradictions inside China. This collection sheds very useful light on one of the most important--and sometimes most contradictory--of those changes: the evolution of the Chinese media as a tool for addressing the problems created by China's nonstop economic growth. This is a varied and stimulating range of views."--James Fallows, National Correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly and author of Postcards from Tomorrow Square

"Contemporary China is best understood by those capable of embracing contradictions. Nowhere is this more necessary than in understanding Chinese media today. Some aspects of it are more open and flexible than ever; others have become even more rigidly controlled. In Changing Media, Changing China, Susan Shirk has gathered together a thoughtful array of essays that will help readers grasp the paradox of dynamic openness and retrograde Leninist control being played out across China in a truly fascinating manner." --Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director of the Center on US-China Relations, Asia Society

"In her edited volume "Changing Media, Changing China" Susan Shirk gives us a rich and in-depth panorama of the previously understudied realms of China's media policies. This book will be a real boon to the student of modern China." --Jonathan Spence, author of The Search for Modern China

"Free from academic jargon and providing ample historical and institutional background information, the book is highly accessible as intelligent reading for those who are not China-watching specialists. Students of Chinese studies, particularly of the media, will find the multiple cases documented in the book a useful resource." --China Review International

About the Author

Susan L. Shirk is Director of the University of California's Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, and Professor at University of California, San Diego. A leading authority on China, she has written numerous books and articles on the subject, including China: Fragile Superpower and pieces that have appeared in the Washington Post, Financial Times, and Wall Street Journal.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (December 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199751978
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199751976
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.8 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #700,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most people think of media in China as owned by the state and highly censored. This is true in many cases, but what may come as a surprise is that for several decades the Chinese government has allowed some media to be privately owned. Beyond that, all media, including those owned and operated by agencies of the state, are now encouraged to be self supporting through the sale of advertising. Susan Shirk, a professor at University of California San Diego, has edited this very good collection in which China experts explore multiple facets of the media business in that country today.

Apparently, the motivation for becoming a bit freer in media censorship practices was that China wanted to develop a market economy and encourage the sale of stock in its state-owned businesses. In order to provide accurate information that investors would trust, it was necessary to allow more open economic and business reporting. This has led to a general easing of press restrictions, although this easing was not intended to include the broadcast media or the internet. Over time, however, some restrictions on these media have also been relaxed.

Each essay in this collection examines a different type of reporting and/or media structure. One of the more interesting is a look at how reporting on business has paved the way for the development of an environmental movement in China. Coverage often included discussions of pollution and other environmental missteps of various corporations, which in turn stoked public outrage leading to organized protests. While there have been cases of the government backing down in the face of public outcry, it is not clear how far such protests will be allowed to go before the authorities clamp down.
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