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Writing for the Masses after Mao: News-Production in Contemporary China


Newspapers in China were once considered an essential ideological weapon in the revolutionary struggle to liberate the masses. Under Mao's leadership, all newspapers were run by the Communist Party-state for the purpose of promoting its perspectives and mobilizing the people to its projects. Since the end of the Mao era in 1978 and over some three decades of market reform since, this same Socialist-propaganda apparatus has transformed into a teeming, multi-billion dollar commercial media industry. Through an ethnographic study of everyday news-production practices at a Chinese newspaper, this dissertation explores the practical, intellectual and ethical dimensions of writing about society, for society, amidst the great material changes and ideational reorientations at play in China today.

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