Author: David Bandurski

Now director of the CMP, leading the project’s research and partnerships, David joined the team in 2004 after completing his master’s degree at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He is currently an honorary lecturer at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre. He is the author of Dragons in Diamond Village (Penguin/Melville House), a book of reportage about urbanization and social activism in China, and co-editor of Investigative Journalism in China (HKU Press).

Sun Jie

September 2004 — Sun is the former editor of China Central Television’s “Focus” news programme, which has been one of China’s leading investigative reporting programmes since 1994. Sun is currently producer of CCTV’s “News Forum.”

Lu Yuegang Letter of Protest to Head of Chinese Communist Youth League

Following an address to employees at China Youth Daily newspaper by the secretary of the Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Youth League, Zhao Yong, in which the official lectured the journalists on proper discipline, Lu posted the following letter on the paper’s internal server. It was subsequently leaked to the outside, become an international news story.
The translation of Lu Yuegang’s letter that follows is provided by Roland Soong at ESWN:
An Open Letter to Zhao Yong, Secretary of the Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Youth League
To Zhao Yong:
We must have a honest discussion. On the afternoon of May 24th, 2004, you delivered a speech at the meeting with the middle-level cadres of the China Youth Daily, and you disappointed many colleagues including me extremely. As the representative of the current central secretariat, you created a bad image for the China Youth Daily. You looked like a petty official who “began to issue orders once you got a little power.” In your speech, you communicated many messages. But after eliminating the lies, the clichés and the dishonesties, there are three main points: (1) anyone who does not obey can get out of the door immediately, even though your original words were: “Anyone who doesn’t want to work can turn in the resignation letter and it will approved on the same day”; (2) the China Youth Daily is the newspaper of the League, and not an “abstract large newspaper”; (3) the newspaper cannot be operated on the basis of “idealism.” Your speech was full of hectoring, intimidations and ignorance.
On the first point, all the China Youth Daily colleagues who listened to your lecture realized that you were not making a tough threat. You were simply recounting the events that had already taken place. The treatment of Assistant Editor-in-Chief Fan Yung-sun, “Youth Ideas” editor Liang Ping and reporter Zhen Qiyan were obviously instances of “killing the chickens to show the monkey” to clean house, and this has created a great deal of confusion among the staff.
[Click HERE for full translation]

Yan Lieshan

May to August 2004 — Yan is an editor at Southern Weekend and a regular columnist for, a popular Chinese web portal. Yan, who is widely recognized as China’s pre-eminent current affairs critic, has a degree in Chinese Studies from Beijing Normal University.He has also published 15 volumes of Chinese zawen, or free-form short essays, on various topics.

Zhong Cheng

From 1987 to 1989, Zhong served as editor in chief of the editorial department at Xinhua News Agency. He became the features editor for Hot Issues in the Chinese Economy in 1997, before moving on to the executive editorship of China News magazine in 1999. In 2000, Zhong founded the editorial department at China News and became associate editor in chief. Currently, Zhong is an editorial committee member for Xinhua News Agency.

Zhan Jiang

April 2004 — A graduate of Renmin University’s journalism program, Zhan has a doctorate in law and nine years ‘ service in the Chinese navy. Currently a professor of journalism at Beijing Foreign Studies University, Zhan taught journalism at China Youth University for Political Sciences from 1996 to 2009. Presently, his areas of research include the U.S. media industry and wartime journalism. Zhan is the author of more than 50 essays on journalism.
Click HERE for Zhan Jiang’s BLOG

Zhao Shilong

April 2004 — Zhao has worked as a reporter for Modern Times and the Yuegang Daily News. From 1996 to 1998, Zhao was a news reporter for Southern Weekend, later moving on to Yangcheng Evening News, where he covered the technology beat, and the news review department of CCTV, where he was the social columnist. Presently, he is working for the television bureau in Hunan Province.

Zhu Xueqin

April 2004 — Zhu is one of China’s most famous political and cultural critics. Currently a professor at Shanghai University, Zhu’s areas of expertise include historical changes in China’s political and administrative structure and international constitutional law. Zhu, who is also one of China’s most visible media commentators, coordinates the Shanghai Database Project within Shanghai University’s Peace & Development Studies Centre.

“An Absurd Decision Reflects A Crisis of Confidence in the Judicial System”

Translated by Donald Clarke
At 1:30 p.m. on March 19, 2004, the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate Court handed down its appellate ruling in the administrative case of Li Jian versus the Beijing Municipal Communications Regulation Bureau (CRB). It rejected his appeal “according to the law” and upheld the administrative ruling of the Xuanwu court. This “legally effective” ruling is no different from declaring that in the face of certain government actions that abuse power, citizens don’t even have the right to sue!
[Click HERE for PDF of Donald Clarke’s full translation]

“Cold Considerations: Who Should Monitor the Media?” [CHINESE]

In this 2004 essay, Lu Ye explores what has become a recurring question in the age of commercialized media in China: who should watch the media? The question is given urgency by such phenomena as fake news, paid-for news and news extortion, but also complicated by China’s ongoing legacy of censorship. Lu Ye seeks the answer to her question in Western notions of journalistic professionalism:
“The press councils of the West are specific manifestations of Western principles of journalistic professionalism. The professional principles that serve as credos for the Western news profession are the ideological basic for self-discipline by Western media. They are a mode of social control based on professional knowledge, with the goal of serving the whole of society, and exercising self-discipline via a professional peer community. ” [LINK HERE]

Wang Keqin

March 2004 — Wang, a senior reporter for the China Economic Times, is known for a number of important investigative stories, including his reporting of securities fraud in Guizhou Province and corrupt regulations in Beijing’s taxi industry. In 2002, Wang was awarded the “Outstanding Member of the Chinese Media” award by Southern Weekend. In 2003, he was listed on the “Billboard of Outstanding Chinese Journalists.” Wang has also published an economic study in co-operation with the Development Research Centre of China’s State Council.
Click HERE for Wang Keqin’s BLOG