Since the mid-1990s, the Chinese media sector has been transformed rapidly under the impact of market forces, a process that has accelerated since 2000. Many observers have explained these developments in terms of a dichotomy between politics and economic trends: the media are torn between the “Party line�? and the “bottom line,�? with a conspicuous increase in the power of market forces - forces which eventually might overcome the residual resistance and free the Chinese media from the overpowering control of the Party-state.1 The amazing increase in the breadth of information available to Chinese media audiences is generally quoted as evidence for such an inevitable development. More recent research has pointed out that the logical conclusion from the marketization of the Chinese media may have been premature.2 The Chinese media remain engaged in a prolonged tug-of-war in which the Partystate retains a degree of overall control over a public sphere that has been described, in Samuel Huntington’s terms, as “praetorian.�?3 Other observers have pointed out the proactive role of the Party-state in initiatives such as the conglomeration of Chinese media companies since the late 1990s; increased economic pressure in the larger concerns has sometimes resulted not in more leeway for chief editors and program directors, but has rather contributed to taming some of the more rebellious media voices, a seemingly paradoxical outcome.4 The Party-state, driven by the CCP’s determination to retain its grip on the channels of ideological persuasion, has - more or less successfully - reformed its propaganda apparatus and adapted it to the requirements of a modernizing economy and a globalizing society.5.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Social Sciences