INTERVIEWS

INTERVIEWS

Despite limitations, the media landscape can be shaped in important ways by people working behind the scenes. Stay tuned as we speak to practitioners, insiders and expert outsiders to understand the changing space.    


Latest | Interviews


From the Archive

Huazong

Apr 29, 2022 | Fang Kecheng
Since the early 2010s, Huazong (花总) has been an active presence on Chinese social media. In 2012, he launched microblog project on Weibo called “Timepiece Appraisals” (手表鉴定) that evaluated public photos of officials to estimate the value of wrist watches they were wearing. Huazong’s work led directly to the fall of Yang Dacai (杨达才), the head of the work safety administration in Shaanxi province. In early 2020, shortly after the outbreak of Covid-19, he released the award-winning online documentary “Mask Hunter,”(口罩猎人) which documented the story of a Chinese businessman who was buying masks around the world. Since 2020, Huazong has focused on livestreaming, which he says is an important and serious form of content production. At the end of 2021, Fang Kecheng spoke to Huazong about livestreaming on Weibo, as well as some of his previous content creation.

Zhan Jiang

Nov 10, 2021 | Stella Chen
Back in July, Zhengzhou, the provincial capital of Henan, experienced record rainfall. The flooding that followed resulted in the death of more than 300 people. As dramatic scenes from Henan were shared across social media, coverage of the floods by the media became a controversial issue in China. While correspondents from the Los Angeles Times and Germany’s Deutsche Welle were surrounded and questioned by local residents, accused of biased coverage of the flood’s aftermath, some netizens asked whether Chinese domestic media had done an adequate job reporting the story. Last month, CMP’s Stella Chen reached out to Professor Zhan Jiang, an expert on Chinese media development, to reflect on Chinese media coverage of the flooding in Henan and other breaking stories, and to discuss more generally Chinese media developments over the past 30 years.

Hannah Bailey

Oct 26, 2021 | Kevin Schoenmakers
Attempts to “Tell China’s Story Well” often involve Western social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Though their real impact is unclear, accounts operated by the Chinese government and by Chinese state media outlets have millions of followers, providing a conduit for content that reflects the views and agendas of the Chinese Party-state. But China appears to also opt for less overt methods to try and shape global public opinion. Signs of inauthentic social media activity suspected to be Chinese influence efforts are increasingly common, says Hannah Bailey, a doctoral candidate at University of Oxford who researches Chinese state-sponsored digital disinformation and edits the Oxford Internet Institute’s China Information Operations Newsletter.

Wei Xing

Sep 30, 2021 | Fang Kecheng
The spread of false and misleading information has now become an issue of global urgency. But what is being done — and what not done — in China to deal with this challenge? In this interview, conducted in early August 2021, Fang Kecheng spoke with Wei Xing (魏星) about China Fact Check (有据), and about the current state of both fact-checking and mis/disinformation in China. A project focused on the fact-checking of Chinese-language information internationally, China Fact Check was established in August 2020. All members of the project work as volunteers. For the purposes of this interview, the Chinese term xūjiǎ xìnxī (虚假信息) has been rendered as “mis/disinformation” to refer generally to instances of false information irrespective of motives. Generally, “misinformation” refers to false information that spreads regardless of the intent to mislead, while “disinformation” refers to misinformation that is intentionally spread. When the term xūjiǎ xìnxī clearly refers to disinformation in this interview, we translate it accordingly.