China’s Investigative Journalists Keep Pushing the Envelope

China Media Project points us toward a feature in Straits Times about China’s trailblazing investigative reporters, including Wang Keqin and Zhan Jiang. Portions of the article are available on Lexus-Nexus:

While China is still better known for a largely propagandist press and strict censorship, a school of tough home-grown investigative journalists has emerged in the past 10 years or so, documenting scandals, corruption and abuse of power – occasionally toppling officials but sometimes paying a personal price for their efforts. It may not quite be the Fourth Estate as in the Western press but a form of ‘watchdog journalism’ exists in China.

Mr David Bandurski, an expert on Chinese media at the University of Hong Kong, notes: ‘At its very best, Chinese investigative journalism is no different from the best watchdog journalism in the West… though China is one of the toughest social and political environments for investigative reporting one could imagine.’

Often outpacing the censors, many of these dirt-digging stories air on state broadcaster China Central Television’s weekly News Probe programme or see print in more commercially driven publications like Caijing magazine, the Guangdong-based Southern Metropolis Daily and Southern Weekend, or others with a tradition of in-depth reporting like the China Youth Daily and Oriental Outlook magazine.

Read more about Wang Keqin and Zhan Jiang via CDT.

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