David Bandurski

David is co-director of the China Media Project, and editor of the project’s website. He is the author of Dragons in Diamond Village (Penguin), a book of reportage about urbanisation and social activism in China, and co-editor of Investigative Journalism in China (HKU Press). His writings have appeared in the New York Times, the Far Eastern Economic Review, the Wall Street Journal, Index on Censorship, the South China Morning Post and others. He received a Human Rights Press Award in 2007 for an explanatory feature about China’s Internet censorship guidelines. David is a producer of Chinese independent films through his Hong Kong production company, Lantern Films. He has a Master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Mr. Bandurski is an honorary lecturer at the Journalism & Media Studies Centre at the University of Hong Kong.

Journalism Denied: How China Views the News

In a report released this week, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (FCCC) released the results of its annual survey on conditions facing foreign journalists working in the country. The report, “Access Denied,” showed that 40 percent of the 117 respondents — from among a membership pool of 218 foreign correspondents — reported a deterioration of conditions during the previous year. Correspondents reported continuing, and in some cases worsening, harassment and intimidation by local authorities and state security, and 15 percent of respondents said they had faced difficulties in renewing their journalism visas. In a statement accompanying the report, the...

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Rooting out gangs, and talk of gangs

On January 25, 2018, China’s Procurator-General, Cao Jianming, the country’s top prosecutor, announced a nationwide campaign against organized crime, and against those within the Party and government who cooperate with crime syndicates. The campaign was spelled out in an official notice from the Central Office of the Chinese Communist Party and the State Council called “Concerning the Carrying Out of a Special Action to Sweep Away Black and Eliminate Evil” (关于开展扫黑除恶专项行动的通知). The term “black and evil forces” (黑恶势力) refers in Chinese to organizations, such as crime syndicates and gangs, engaged in criminal activity. In the wake of Cao’s announcement,...

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Unwelcome Comparisons

Austria’s new chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, made a visit to Germany this week, where he met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, discussing issues such as refugee distribution in Europe. On Twitter, Kurz said the meetings had been productive. “On the way back to # Vienna after good appointments in #Berlin,” he wrote. “Looking forward to working with our neighbor #Germany on bilateral concerns, but especially on European issues!” But one Chinese reader of international affairs was struck not so much by the substance of the meetings as by how Mr. Kurz had apparently left Germany, based on the photograph accompanying the...

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On Weibo, Deleting the Past

In China, even issues in the remote past can be seen as having an immense potential impact on the politics of the present. Therefore, discussion of such events as the Cultural Revolution and the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre are highly restricted in the media and online. We had a glimpse of this recently with the censorship controversy involving the blocking in China of certain peer-reviewed articles appearing in academic journals published by Cambridge University Press. As documented by China Digital Times, most of the articles blocked from the Journal of Asian Studies had to do with either the Cultural Revolution...

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Xi Gets Research Centers to Match His Thought

According to a report this week from China’s official Xinhua News Agency, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party has approved the creation of 10 special research centers devoted to “Xi Jinping Thought,” the top leader’s brand new “banner term,” or core political ideas and legacy, introduced at the 19th Party Congress back in October. Xi’s full banner phrase is the rather less catchy “Xi Jinping’s new era thought of socialism with Chinese characteristics” (习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想). But in much state media coverage, including coverage announcing the new research centers, this banner has been shortened to “Xi Jinping Thought.” As...

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