- Beijing’s tight grip on information has created a media landscape that spans from government mouthpieces and news outlets that routinely push the boundaries of news reporting in mainland China.
In response to growing worries in the US over foreign meddling in elections, American social media companies have taken upon themselves to identify accounts run by foreign governments.
YouTube in 2018 began adding labels to state-owned media. Facebook followed suit several months before the 2020 presidential elections, while Twitter has taken the extra step of limiting the spread of posts made by outlets and people affiliated with a foreign government.
But blanket labeling of Chinese media as “state-affiliated,” as Twitter does, glosses over the important differences between the credibility of government mouthpieces like China’s CCTV and more independent-minded Chinese outlets such as Caixin.
While Beijing continues to maintain a tight grip on information in mainland China, understanding its media landscape will be crucial to figuring out what information from the mainland to trust and what to take with a grain of salt.