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.

One Page Says It All

As anyone might have guessed, the front page of today’s People’s Daily is dominated by the story of Xi Jinping’s political report yesterday to the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. The page is a riot of red headlines. The largest headline reads: “19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party Opens in Beijing.” Immediately below: “Xi Jinping Represents the 18th Central Committee in Making a Report to the Congress.” The smaller, non-bolded headline above the main headline is one of the key messages of Xi Jinping’s report: “Obtaining Victory in the Building of a Moderately Well-Off...

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Xi Jinping the Navigator

Xi Jinping’s first political report, delivered today at the opening of the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, is a monster that must be carefully dissected through many painful hours of reading — turning it constantly against the mirror of political reports past. So we do not presume to offer a reading here. But we can point to a few aspects and look at how the congress is being reported through Chinese media, which on this story are naturally dominated by official state media. A number of the initial media reports, like this one from Caixin (which...

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All That Talk About Plain Talk

From the outset of his first term as general secretary in late 2012, state media in China made much of Xi Jinping’s down-to-earth style. The new leader, we were told, had demanded less jargon of his fellow officials, and had poo-pooed public speeches burdened with boilerplate. The China Daily, published by the Information Office of the State Council, ran a related piece under a headline that was almost brusque by official standards: “Plain Talk and People First Style.” But that headline, too, bent awkwardly under the weight of the Party’s stiff and colorless discourse — as though state media and the system they...

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Goodies for China’s Cyber Goons

With China expected to produce close to 8 million college graduates this year, finding suitable job positions is a top priority. But Chinese internet firms should pick up some of the slack as they strain to accommodate the government’s expanding mandate to control online speech. On September 27, the Chinese social media mega-platform Weibo — with more than 340 million monthly users, surpassing the total population of the United States — posted on its verified “Weibo Manager” (微博管理员) account that it was seeking to fill 1,000 new “Weibo Supervisor” (微博监督员) positions. The platform said in the announcement that the supervisors...

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The Fable of the Master Storyteller

To Xi Jinping’s growing list of titles as Chairman of Everything, add one more: Storyteller-in-Chief. In the five years since he became general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party in November 2012, Xi has authored no less than four books, including The Governance of China (the tome on his ruling vision that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg made such a show of placing on his desk), Up and Out of Poverty (a collection of his writings through the 1990s), The Chinese Dream and the Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation (which helps readers “come to understand the true nature of the Chinese...

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China Launches Cybersecurity Week

Over the weekend, Liu Yunshan, China’s propaganda chief, attended a ceremony at Shanghai’s Xijiao Conference Center to provide the official kickoff for China Cybersecurity Week, a nationwide push to implant knowledge about the risks of internet technology “deep in the hearts of the people.” The official theme of this year’s conference: “Cybersecurity for the People, Cybersecurity Depending on the People.” Attending the conference were officials from various government departments — including the Ministry of Education, the Public Security Bureau and the Office of the State Commercial Cryptography Administration (OSCCA) — and representatives from internet companies, many (like Li Xuyang...

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