Negotiating the boundaries of news reporting: Journalists’ strategies to access and report political information in China


  • Xianwen Kuang School of Film and Television Arts Xi’an Jiaotong – Liverpool University



Beat reporting, China, journalist–politician relations, journalistic practices, news reporting boundary, political journalism


As Chinese politicians hold the power to control the dissemination of political information, beat journalists must guard their relationship with the authorities to expand the boundaries of news reporting; that is, to gain more access to political information and report more sensitive news. What remains a puzzle is how beat journalists can possibly expand these boundaries. Data from participatory observation and in-depth interviews with journalists reveal that in order to gain more access to political information, they not only serve as political advocates but also seize the opportunity to act as watchdogs. To report more sensitive news without being sanctioned or denounced by the authorities, they coordinate with peers both within and outside the news organization.

Author Biography

Xianwen Kuang, School of Film and Television Arts Xi’an Jiaotong – Liverpool University

Xianwen Kuang (Guangzhou, 1980) has been employed at the Xi'an Jiaotong Liverpool University (XJTLU) as Lecturer in Journalism since August, 2014. He received a PhD degree in Journalism from University of Southern Denmark (SDU) in April, 2014 and a MSc in Asian Studies from Lund University in June 2010.

His main research interests include Journalism, Political Communication, and Contentious Politics in China. He has published research works on collective action in China and on the political control over news production in China.

Xianwen Kuang has lived and worked in China, Sweden, Kenya, Denmark and the Netherlands as professional journalist and researcher. He has also taught Bachelor and MSc courses in Journalism, Media and Communication at both SDU and XJTLU.


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How to Cite

Kuang, X. (2017). Negotiating the boundaries of news reporting: Journalists’ strategies to access and report political information in China. MedieKultur: Journal of Media and Communication Research, 33(62), 17 p.