Introducing Biganzi

Today, CDT is test-launching a BIGANZI, a new blog channel dedicated to tracking developments within the dynamic field of “watchdog” reporting in China.

In Chinese, bi ganzi (Á¨îÊùÜÂ≠ê) means ‘wielders of the pen,’ as Mao Zedong termed the propaganda soldiers of his Marxist-Leninist Revolution. Today, the Communist Party-ruled state retains ultimate authority and nominal ownership over the news media, but the erstwhile bi ganzi have in large part become aggressive, independent-minded journalists, who feel empowered to expose injustices and thereby push the envelope of reform. The function of BIGANZI is to report regularly on their breakthroughs, their setbacks and their scandals. Our goal is not to act as an exhaustive daily digest of goings-on within the Chinese press. Rather, it is to add to an already lively conversation taking place among Chinese media watchers. Besides flagging stories breaking in traditional media outlets and on the Internet, BIGANZI seeks to contribute behind-the-scenes reporting and original analysis. The ultimate aim of BIGANZI is to provide a valuable resource, and foster understanding of the machinations of muckraking in China. We hope that posts on BIGANZI will aid attempts to gauge the shifting levels of freedom, censorship and impact of the media within China – both from a macro-perspective of Communist Party politics, and within a microcosm of local politics and individual media organs.

BIGANZI is written, reported and edited by the staff of CDT, a non-profit Web site published by the China Internet Project under the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. We do our best to ensure that the contents of the blog are accurate and reliably sourced. Likewise, we welcome the reuse of or links to our posts, provided the material is sourced appropriately to BIGANZI. We also invite you to send us any tips, comments, or suggestions.

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