This book argues that the gap between the official transparency rhetoric and the censorship reality has demonstrated the discrepancy between what the Party is and what it claims to be. Such a discrepancy is manifested by the reality that the reformed news industry, a hybrid of market-oriented commercialization and party-state control, has largely failed to deliver either the voice of the disenfranchised groups or the value of journalism. To observe the discrepancy, this book investigates the role of transparency in the Chinese news media. Media transparency, which goes beyond the issue of censorship and press freedom, has been undermined by the consensus reached between the party-state and the media on political and market control. It is this mutually accommodating and benefiting scheme between power and profits that has been hollowing out the substance of the transparency rhetoric and distorting the Marxist idea of press freedom as freedom for all. This book argues that the cause of such a gap between rhetoric and reality is rooted in the disjuncture of political representation of both the party-state and the profit-seeking media.
Baohui Xie lectures at the Centre for Asian Studies at the University of Adelaide and is associate professor at Jiangxi Normal University.