China The Great Wall of Media Censorship

China, based on Wallrstein's World System Theory, fits much of the descriptions of a semi-pheripheral country. News tends to flow to the country, with little information coming from the tightly controlled media of China (Walrstein, 2004).

According to McPhail (2014), China has intensified its media and is becoming a player in the global media arena. This occurred after the death of Mao, with the establishment of an "open door" policy.

China controls the media in order to filter out unfavorable news that may threaten the legitimacy of the regime. The ability of the internet to make information readily available has given the government a difficult task. This is especially a problem when dealing with local officials and makes it difficult to control. "Tibetan and Uighur separationist movements, political reform and democracy, labor protests," are some of the topics forbidden by the government. Recent changes in the way the government bans certain topics has become more compatible by guiding public opinion to create a more acceptable scenario for censorship (Tai, 2014).

"Recoding" has become a device to make sensitive information available, especially with journalists and artists. Sensitive words are transformed into a code word, that often is a spoof. This device has been reffered to as a form of "resistance" by citizens. Journalists also try to remain anonymous and do not use credentials (Xu, 2015).

Mark Zuckerburg has initiated a dialogue with China to allow Facebook to be accessed in China. There are many questions concerning how Zuckerburg will deal with the media censorship as he has expressed his belief in an open media, while he seems willing to work within the confines of China's censorship (Parker, 2016).

Overall, China is moving to a more global stance, but there still remains many questions of how the rest of the World will deal with the slanted news that imanates from the country.


Fan, Yang, 2016. Rethinking China’s Internet censorship: The practice of recoding and the politics of visibility. New Media & Society, Vol. 18:7 (1364–1381).

McPhail, Thomas L. Global Communication: Theories, Stakeholders, and Trends. 4th ed. John Wiley and Sons, 2014.

Parker, Emily, 2016. Mark Zuckerberg’s long march to China. MIT Technology Review, Vol. 119:6 (100-102).

Tai, Qiuqing, 2014. China's media censorship: A dynamic and diversified regime. Journal of East Asian Studies 14 (185-209).

Wallerstein, Immanuel, 2004. World-systems analysis : an introduction. Duke University Press.

Xu, Di, 2015. Online censorship and journalists’ tactics: A Chinese perspective. Journalism Practice, Vol. 9:5 (704–720).

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