It is often mentioned that reform of the Chinese media since the 1980s, characterized by the withdrawal of state subsidies, has led to the tension of the media having to serve 'two masters', the ruling party and the market. Yet there has been little examination as to how journalists in local newsrooms operate in this milieu, and how they feel about and deal with various pressures. From an insider's perspective, this article attempts to provide a fresh look at the autonomy of China's local press, and bring new insights to the dynamic of politics, marketplace and media. It concludes that it is with tactics and guile that journalism at the local level in China struggles, survives, develops and thrives.
Keywords: investigative journalism, Chinese media, censorship, autonomy, auto-ethnography
How to Cite:
Wang, H., (2017) “How Big Is the Cage? An Examination of Local Press Autonomy in China”, Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture 7(1), p.56-72. doi: https://doi.org/10.16997/wpcc.195