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China

China is becoming a major player in the global economy, but this has not translated into greater media freedom inside China. Authorities in the government are trying to balance the need for more information with their goal of controlling content as a means to maintain power. China’s media is becoming more varied, more professional, more competitive, and there is an increase in investigative reporting by Chinese news agencies. These are positive steps for the Chinese media.

Expats should know that according to a government report, there are more than 2,000 newspapers, over 8,000 magazines, and some 374 television stations in the country. China also has over 500 million Internet users (the most in the world), and, despite restrictions governing online content, many domestic and international stories that censors would prefer to control do indeed slip through the government’s online firewalls. Since only state agencies can own media in China, expats must bear in mind that the content in this media is what the Chinese government wants them to read or hear.

The watchdog group Reporters without Borders ranked China 173 out of 179 countries in its 2013 index of press freedom. China requires foreign correspondents to get permission before making reporting trips within the country and reporters…

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