lørdag 16. desember 2017

Praising Xi Jinping won't pay the bills for China's journalists

Life is not easy for the Chinese local reporter. As mouthpieces for the leadership, local party newspapers are tasked with trumpeting the achievements of the Xi Jinping epoch. They are under the sway of the Publicity Department, now led by a close aide to the president. But that does not mean reporters can coast along, filing party-pleasing but substandard stories.

At the Hubei Daily, and likely other papers, journalists are locked in a cutthroat battle for higher pay and promotions. If they want to bring home the yuan, they have to deliver the goods. The journalists have to perform under an uneasy equilibrium -- between obedience and ability, between open competition and Xi's iron grip.