“Party-Public Relations, Inc.”: A new perspective on state-controlled media and the resilience of authoritarianism
Dr He Bixiao, Harvard-Yenching Institute
3:30pm-5:00pm Thursday 23 June 2016
Morven Brown Building Room 209, UNSW Sydney Upper Campus, High St Gate 8, Kensington, Sydney
Chinese journalism has of late begun to pursue journalistic professionalism in an attempt to break out of the long-standing model of journalism as propaganda. However, as China’s economy has advanced, a new industry has emerged and evolved into what I will call “Party-Public Relations, Inc.” By co-opting the original news organs and their news-producing processes, this unique means of Party-public relations management has proven itself able to represent and manipulate “public sentiment” (yuqing), taking full advantage of the political and market dominance provided by the current system, and at the same time undermining and gradually eviscerating professional journalistic commitments.
Dr He Bixiao attained the degree of PhD in Journalism from Fudan University in Shanghai and has published extensively on the history of journalism in China, with particular focus on the restructuring of the private newspaper industry in Shanghai after Liberation (in the period 1949-1952), the role of newspapers in China’s modernization process, as well as a recent case study on the change of discourse in the Xinjiang Daily after the September 25th Uprising there. She is currently a Fellow of the Harvard-Yenching Institute.