The Origins of Investigative Journalism

David Bandurski, Martin Hala and Ying Chan

in Investigative Journalism in China

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9789622091733
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207066 | DOI:
The Origins of Investigative Journalism

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China's media consumers are increasingly able to access news stories exposing government corruption and examining the social costs of the nation's market-based economic reforms. Some China observers laud this development as a sign of growing press freedom in China. Others dismiss these developments, arguing that China's new watchdog journalism functions at most as a watchdog on a government leash, a newer and more sophisticated tool for legitimizing and maintaining Chinese Communist Party (CCP) control. In fact, China's version of watchdog reporting is a complex phenomenon that resists simplistic analysis based on the dichotomy of “freedom versus control.” China's watchdog journalism grows out of what the Chinese calls yulun jiandu, or “supervision by public opinion.” The program has resulted in the transformation of Chinese investigative reporters into public actors in a newfound world of muckraking journalism.

Keywords: China; corruption; economic reforms; press freedom; watchdog journalism; Chinese Communist Party; watchdog reporting

Chapter.  4351 words. 

Subjects: Media Studies

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