The Party Line How The Media Dictates Public Opinion in Modern China

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-01-01
  • Publisher: Wiley

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A chilling look at how the Chinese state media dictate popular opinion There are 1.3 billion people in China, a number so vast that it makes popular consensus almost unimaginable. Yet, incredibly, when it comes to most issues, the majority of Chinese citizens think alike. The Party Line: How The Media Dictates Public Opinion in Modern China explores how this is possible, looking at the ways in which the strictly-regulated, state-owned media, specifically the Xinhua News Agency (literally the "New China News Agency"), dont share news, they shape opinion. From foreign relations, to government corruption and global warming, the Chinese media is able to craft a national single-mindedness that defines opinion throughout the country. Tibet and Taiwan are cast as integral parts of the nation, Japan is presented as an evil empire that cannot be trusted, and the United States becomes an on-again-off-again partner for cooperation both at home and abroad. Using a trickle down approach in which official views are formed at the top news outlets and then picked up by regional and local affiliates to give the appearance of many voices with a single message that is reinforced at every level, the book shows how the Chinese government controls the strings of the media to literally toe the party line. Explores the incredible role the media plays in shaping Chinese public opinion Explains how the major Chinese news outlet, controlled by the state, creates a hive-mind mentality across the worlds most populous nation Examines how the government can instantly and easily galvanize public support for its agenda The average Chinese citizen shares remarkably similar views on a wide array of issues, domestic and foreign, thanks to the unified message distributed by the tightly controlled state-run media, and The Party Line presents a unique, behind the scenes look at how.

Author Biography

Doug Young is an associate professor in the Journalism Department at China's Fudan University in Shanghai. He has worked in the media for nearly two decades, half of that in China, where he witnessed the massive changes that have taken place in the country since the earliest days of the reform era in the 1980s. Most recently, he worked for Reuters from 2000 to 2010 covering the China story out of the agency's Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Taipei bureaus. Prior to relocating to China, he worked as a journalist in Los Angeles. A native of Washington, DC, he received his bachelor's degree in geology from Yale University and a master's degree in Asian studies from Columbia University. In addition to his current roles as teacher and author, he is a closely followed commentator on the latest Chinese business news and industry trends on his blog, www.youngchinabiz.com.

Table of Contents





Chapter 1: The Agenda

Telling the Party’s Story

Tool for Social Stability

Changing with the Times


Chapter 2: Spreading the Word

The Machinery

Rise of the Internet as a New Major Force

Breaking News: an Uneasy Truce


Chapter 3: Ultranetworked

Caught Up In Connections

Promoting the Party’s Agenda

Steering Clear of Well-Connected Organizations


Chapter 4: Reporters

The Party’s Eyes and Ears

Investigating Trouble in the Provinces

Xinhua: the Party’s First Take on History


Chapter 5: Korea and Tibet

China Finds Its Voice

Four Media Approaches

Tibet: a Lost Family Member Returns to the Fold


Chapter 6: Cultural Revolution

The Ultimate Media Movement

Guerilla Coverage at Fever Pitch

Educator of the Masses


Chapter 7: A Nixon Visit, the Death of Mao and Road to Reform

A Softer Approach

Kissinger’s Secret Trip

Starting with a Handshake


Chapter 8: The Tiananmen Square Divide

The Media Gains, Then Loses, Its Voice

Key Moments: Death of a Former Reformer

Students Go on Strike


Chapter 9: Falun Gong

Guerilla Coverage Returns

Starting with a Stealth Demonstration

Explaining the Evil


Chapter 10: A Bombing in Belgrade and Anti-Japanese Marches

The Nationalism Card

Putting out the Flames

Japan: a Case of Old Resentments


Chapter 11: SARS

Don’t Spoil Our Party

Cracks in the Monolithic Facade

Breaking Open the Coverage


Chapter 12: The Beijing Olympics and Sichuan Earthquake

Rallying Points

Resurrecting the Laundry List

Proud to Be Chinese


Chapter 13: Google in China


When Issues Go Viral

Breaking the Silence: China’s Internet Is Open




About the Author




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