You are here

Media at Work in China and India

Media at Work in China and India
Discovering and Dissecting

First Edition
Edited by:
Critical Acclaim

November 2015 | 396 pages | SAGE India

Anyone who visits India or China will puzzle over their vast media systems. Though they exercise immense influence, the world knows very little about the media landscape in the two countries. The world’s two most populous countries, comprising close to 40 per cent of the global population, have disputed boundaries and the legacy of the 1962 war. Mass media in both countries plays a pivotal role in domestic politics and is capable of telling provocative nationalist stories.


This book helps readers to understand the complexities of media in India and China, and their similarities and differences. It introduces the two media systems, the people who work in them, the work they produce and the pressures that influence their work. It analyses how economic forces drive media, how newsrooms work and how governments in each country manage the coverage of disasters. Media at Work in China and India fosters greater reflection, curiosity and, perhaps, even wisdom, about fast-changing media in these 21st century powerhouses.


Robin Jeffrey and Ronojoy Sen
Introduction: Media at Work—Four Sames and Three Differents
Li Yang
Development and Communication: The Evolution of Chinese Media
Robin Jeffrey
Newspapers in India: Diversity, Ownership and Future
Nalin Mehta
India on Television: Owners, Politicians and Debate in a Democracy
Ying Zhu
China’s Cultural War against the West
John Zhou
Portrait of a Chinese Journalist
Anshuman Tiwari
Portrait of an Indian Journalist
Tang Lu
Experience: Understanding and Reporting India
Ananth Krishnan
Media, Messaging and Misperceptions in India–China Relations: Reading the Tea Leaves
Ronojoy Sen
China in the Times of India
Srinjoy Chowdhury
The View from an Indian Television Newsroom: What Makes Us Different?
Danny Geevarghesei
Trying Hard to Be Soft: The Chinese State and India in CCTV News
John Jirik
The CCTV–Reuters Relationship
Subhomoy Bhattacharjee
Covering Commerce: How Indian Newspapers Treat Business, Economics and the China Story
Ming Xia
Media Control as Stability Maintenance: The Case of the Sichuan Earthquake
Anup Kumar
When Officials and Media Failed: The Response to the Uttarakhand Floods, 2013
Jonathan Benney, Nimmi Rangaswamy
Social Media: China and India Compared
Simon Long
Shooting the Messengers

For two neighbouring giants which had relations for two thousand years, the contemporary knowledge of the peoples of China and India about each other is abysmal. The slender media coverage between the two is also alleged to have largely reproduced stereotypes about the other. A number of meetings between representatives of the media and media scholars in the two countries were held in the “neutral space” of Singapore. Jeffrey and Sen have captured the results of these frank and free exchanges to produce a comprehensive view of India– China “media work” and the way forward.

Prasenjit Duara
Director, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, and author of The Crisis of Global Modernity: Asian Traditions and a Sustainable Future

Despite the much-touted neologism “Chindia,” genuine comparisons between India and China’s media and communication industries are rare and difficult to undertake. Till this day, we do not have much indepth empirical material that draws on first-hand experience of media practitioners from these countries. Still less do we know how Chinese and Indian media organizations and journalists perceive each other. This book showcases novel approaches to the study of media in the world’s two most populous countries and makes a welcome contribution towards filling these gaps.

Wanning Sun
Professor of Media and Communication Studies, University of Technology, Sydney, and author of Subaltern China: Rural Migrants, Media and Cultural Practices

Media revolutions ferment in Asia’s two giants, as power-hungry business tycoons play media magnate in India, propagandists in China are told to chase audiences and advertisers, and a billion-plus netizens and mobile phone users are empowered. Behind Himalayan levels of mutual ignorance, spurious stories—a naval clash, a Chinese plot to “Balkanize” India—take off and stereotypes prevail. This book is a timely exploration of an explosive subject.

Hamish McDonald
former correspondent in New Delhi and Beijing and author of Ambani & Sons: The Making of the World’s Richest Brothers and Their Feud

As the media institutions in China and India gain greater reach and influence, Jeffrey and Sen offer unarguably the best comparative perspective so far. Looking beyond the binary of “Chinese state media versus the free Indian press,” the chapters in this book delve deep into the similarities and differences between the two. In probing their incapacity to facilitate a better popular understanding of each other, the book reveals the structural weaknesses of the Chinese and Indian media.

C. Raja Mohan
Director, Carnegie India and author of Samudra Manthan: Sino-Indian Rivalry in the Indo-Pacific

A good book to get into the subject. It’s structure works to get over the biggest issue that reporting or writing on China involves—access to data, knowledge or insights and the language barrier…it uses 17 essays from writers across India and China to tackle the structure of the two markets, how reporters working there view them, the practices and a section that dissects the media worlds in these two countries…. For someone thirsty to know more about Chinese media this book answers so many questions. 


Business Standard, 22 October 2015

A rare comparison between India and China in the same breath, this anthology of essays on media is a welcome one… [The book] is about the changing dynamics of media in both the countries, with essays by distinguished journalists, media practitioners and scholars in China, India and the West, offering the long and short of structures, practices and practitioners in political orders as vastly different as India and China. 


The Financial Express, 17 January 2016

“...Showcases novel approaches to the study of media in the world’s two most populous countries and makes a welcome contribution towards filling these gaps”

Wanning Sun,
Professor of Media and Communication Studies, University of Technology, Sydney

This book brings together insightful contributions by experienced media analysts and practitioners from India, China and the West…the book offers deep insights into politics, language and culture in the two countries against the backdrop of media transformation…this makes for a fascinating read.

China Report,
Volume 52 (Issue 4), November 2016