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Silencing Chinese Media: The Southern Weekly Protests and the Fate of Civil Society in Xi Jinping's China

Guan Jun David Bandurski Fang Kecheng Kevin Carrico

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Rowman & Littlefield
23 June 2020
Asian history; Media studies; Press & journalism
Chinese media in the reform era walk a fine line between commercialized diversification and Party-state control. Nowhere have these two trends been in more open conflict than at Southern Weekly (Nanfang Zhoumo), a bestselling Guangzhou-based newspaper known for reliably pushing the envelope on media controls. This gripping insider's account highlights the fiery internal debates and public protests at the paper at the beginning of Xi Jinping's reign. In early 2013, disagreements with censors over draconian cuts to the paper's New Year's edition grew into a lengthy internal discussion about how to push back against the Party's ever-tightening constraints. At the same time, a parallel movement emerged among activists protesting outside the paper's Guangzhou's headquarters to publicly show their opposition to Party control over the media. Nothing, however, changed, as Party-state controls remained firmly in place. Guan Jun offers thoughtful reflections on the tensions inherent within the Chinese government's program of reform and opening, in the new era of tightening authoritarianism under Xi Jinping. The End of Chinese Media, as a first-person account of a seminal cultural and political moment early in, provides an ominous warning on the path ahead for Chinese media and civil society.
By:   Guan Jun
Introduction by:   David Bandurski, Fang Kecheng
Translated by:   Kevin Carrico
Imprint:   Rowman & Littlefield
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 229mm,  Width: 152mm, 
ISBN:   9781538142271
ISBN 10:   1538142279
Pages:   182
Publication Date:   23 June 2020
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Guan Jun is a former Southern Weekly journalist and author. Kevin Carrico is senior lecturer in Chinese studies at Monash University.

Reviews for Silencing Chinese Media: The Southern Weekly Protests and the Fate of Civil Society in Xi Jinping's China

A thrilling insider account of one of the most dramatic and misunderstood acts of defiance by Chinese media in the reform era the 2013 Southern Weekly incident. Drawing on interviews with participants and on WeChat records, Guan Jun presents us with a gripping narrative about the last battle of one of China's most famous newspapers. This final struggle symbolizes the evolution of Chinese media politics in the Xi era, and should be of interest to scholars of Chinese media and society, as well as to China observers and reporters.--Maria Repnikova, Georgia State University; author of Media Politics in China The story of the rise and fall of Southern Weekly is one of the most important cases in the history of modern Chinese journalism. The acts of resistance chronicled in this book were a critical turning point, and since 2013, Chinese media have entered a dark tunnel that seems to have no end. But the sparks of resistance are still smoldering, and they will no doubt spring to life again.--Qian Gang, former managing editor of Southern Weekly


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