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The Contentious Public SphereLaw, Media, and Authoritarian Rule in China$
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Ya-Wen Lei

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691196145

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691196145.001.0001

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Critical News Reporting and Legal-Media Collaborative Networks

Critical News Reporting and Legal-Media Collaborative Networks

(p.69) 4 Critical News Reporting and Legal-Media Collaborative Networks
The Contentious Public Sphere

Ya-Wen Lei

Princeton University Press

This chapter details how the state's use of media to disseminate law and report on certain local problems, paired with political fragmentation and the marketization of the press, provided conditions for certain media and legal professionals to build networks and collaborate. Such collaboration pushed the boundaries of critical news reporting and expanded the concept of rights beyond socioeconomic issues. The chapter first demonstrates the rise of critical news reporting in the mid-2000s. Next, it describes how media marketization—a process that accelerated starting in the early 1990s—reshaped the political, economic, and professional environment in which Chinese newspapers were embedded. After briefly describing a parallel process in the transformation of the legal profession, the chapter then shows how the national process of media marketization and law dissemination programs unfolded differently in localities with dissimilar political and market conditions.

Keywords:   critical news reporting, media marketization, Chinese newspapers, law dissemination, political fragmentation

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