The Party-State’s Policy on the Critical Press in China: From the State-Society Relation Perspective


The main purpose of this study is to reconsider the states role in promoting the media's social expression which means the state has opened up a space for the Chinese press to pursue social expression and in turn reconstituted state-society relations in an authoritarian state such as China. China's media has been regarded as the mouthpiece of the party-state and its social expression function was under control of the party. But since the reform, the party's control on social expression of the media has been loose. According to the official explanation, the critical press (yulun jiandu) is a public channel through the media to expose wrongs of the party and social problems by reflecting the views of the general public. Starting from the party's thirteenth Congress in 1987, the critical press has since been used in every Party congress report from 1987 to 2007, a sign of its importance to the party-state. But after the Tiananmen Square incident, the party-state is playing the contradictory role in both promoting and stifling the critical press. This paper examines the party-state's policy on the critical press since the reform to the present over 30 years, and aims to explain two issues: How the Party-state's contradictory role in both promoting and stifling the critical press as social expression influences state-society relations in China? What kind of the relationship between the state and the society within the media arena?

Author Information
Bing Wang, Sun Yat-Sen University, China

Paper Information
Conference: MediAsia2016
Stream: Political Communication and Satire

This paper is part of the MediAsia2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon