Comparative Politics

Attacking with Their Own Words: The Use of Censored Sources by the Party Media in China

Authors

  • Ziyi Wu Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Abstract

There exists a seemingly contradictory treatment towards foreign news and social media in China. On the one hand, foreign news articles and social media are severely censored. On the other, the Communist Party frequently quotes these censored sources when addressing the public. These behaviors are puzzling. It is natural for authoritarian regimes to hide repressive behaviors, rather than to expose them. The use of foreign news contents is also not necessary for advancing party ideologies because the party’s own words work just as well. To address the puzzle, I ask the following research questions: Why does the party media in China actively quote censored sources when reporting contested foreign affairs? I argue that the party media quote from foreign sources to demonstrate professionalism and to appear credible, while government censorship has effectively framed foreign news sources as generally biased and thus prevents people from trusting them in the first place.

Content

Thumbnail image of Wu_Official Party Media on Censored Sources_Design.pdf

Supplementary weblinks

iPoster at APSA 2021 Annual Conference
The iPoster of the project presented at APSA 2021 Annual Conference. The iPoster contains some results from the preliminary analysis of the proposed design, as uploaded in the working paper section.

Comments

Log in or register with APSA to comment
Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] – please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .