Download He Qinglian’s Book on Media Control in China

Available in PDF from Human Rights in China,  He Qinglian’s The Fog of Censorship paints a detailed portrait of the workings of the Chinese censorship system.  See the Table of Contents below.

Download the book at


Shattering the Myths about China’s Media Market xiii

Media Control and Public Ignorance 1
Media control in China before 1978
Media control since “reform and opening-up” in 1978
The myth of China’s “media reform” in 2003

Government Control of the Chinese Media 22
The law versus the constitution
The Chinese government’s tracking and management of the media
“Unified news coverage” of major incidents
The political education and thought control of media professionals
The life and times of China’s propaganda czars
The Political and Economic Control of Media Workers 44
The media’s political pyramid
The function of rank
Case study: CCTV’s “Focus”

“Internal (neibu) Documents” and the Secrecy System 54
Anything can be a state secret
Classified documents and public access to information

Chinese Journalists—Dancing in Shackles 79
Control of news sources and reporting
News blackouts of mining disasters
The use of violence
The Public Security Bureau and court orders
A Worker’s Daily issue recalled

News Censorship and Half-truths 97
Interference in the Project Hope corruption scandal
Lies sprinkled with truth: The Nanjing poisoning case

Journalism as a High-risk Occupation 114
The death of Feng Zhaoxia
The arrest of Ma Hailin

The jailing of Gao Qinrong The recall of a “reactionary book” Jiang Weiping, jailed for subversion Exposing official corruption as a punishable offense

A Prickly Rosebush Cut Off at the Root 129

Southern Weekend’s heyday

Reasons for Southern Weekend’s Survival

The gradual evisceration of Southern Weekend Why was Southern Weekend rendered powerless?

Foreign Journalists in China 144

“Free” foreign journalists and “unfree” interviewees

Containing foreign journalists

Using foreign journalists Foreign journalists in Chinese media

The stories of two foreign journalists

 Foreign Investment in China’s Media Industry 160

Chinese media off-limits to foreign investors

A pack of lies

Controlling access to foreign news in China

Can foreign investment bring press freedom?


About 高大伟 David Cowhig

Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
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