In this richly textured volume, leading scholars and journalists engage in a unique dialogue in their exploration of the rapidly evolving conditions of political communication in China. The contributors begin by considering the bureaucratization of media control within the context of economic reform, addressing such questions as: How were the media used and abused to uphold, undermine, and save the regime's legitimacy? How were they decoded in popular resistance, especially in the age of new technology? How does Communist control compare to Nationalist control—both on the mainland prior to 1949 and on Taiwan afterward? What is the relevance of the Taiwan experience to understanding changes in China's media? The contributors go on to examine how ideology, the available body of knowledge, and professional roles affect both scholarly and journalistic understanding of China. They strive to answer a second set of questions: How has the cold war shaped the picture Westerners have constructed of China? What impact do the U.S. media have on Chinese politics, and what sort of new challenges does the U.S. journalist face in China? In light of the checkered history of "objective" reporting in China, how do Hong Kong journalists attempt to protect press freedom during the political transition? Bringing together a wide-ranging group of experts, including media scholars, historians, political scientists, journalists, and policymakers, this book is both path-breaking and thought-provoking. Offering fresh insights into Chinese journalism and Sino-American relations, this volume will be important reading for students, scholars, and the general reader.
Note on Romanization -- Overview -- Ambiguities and Contradictions: Issues in China's Changing Political Communication -- Control, Change, and Opposition -- The Role of the Press in Post-Mao Political Struggles -- The Use and Abuse of Mass Media by Chinese Leaders During the 1980s -- China's Legitimacy Crisis: The Central Role of Information -- Chinese Communist Ideology and Media Control -- The Politics of Publicity in Reform China -- Striving for Predictability: The Bureaucratization of Media Management in China -- The Oppositional Decoding of China's Leninist Media -- Press Control in "New China" and "Old China" -- Sparking a Fire: The Press and the Ferment of Democratic Change in Taiwan -- Ideology, Knowledge, and Professionalism -- The American Correspondent in China -- The Historical Fate of “Objective Reporting” in China -- Fighting Against the Odds: Hong Kong Journalists in Transition -- Frost on the Mirror: An American Understanding of China in the Cold War Era -- Push and Pull: A Chinese-American Journalist’s “Home Journeys” -- The Voice of America and China -- U.S. Media Coverage of the Cultural Revolution: A Postscript