The new breed of Chinese war correspondents: Their motivations and roles, and the impact of digital technology

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The reporting of international news in China has changed significantly in recent years. Since the late 1990s, driven by the demands of the domestic market, the growing financial strengths of national and metropolitan news organizations, the availability of digital technology, and the state's strategy of enhancing soft power and making China's voice heard in the global arena, more and more Chinese correspondents travel to war and conflict zones abroad to report and file news coverage back home - a rare occurrence in the past. This study examines a new breed of Chinese war correspondents arising from this very new journalistic environment - how they negotiate their changing and challenging roles by questioning their identities, motivations and perceptions, and how they reflect on their roles, and the use and impact of digital technologies such as micro-blogging. This article uses semi-structured in-depth interviews with 16 Chinese correspondents who have been posted abroad to cover war zones. The author finds that this new breed is neither traditionally Chinese in their approach nor western in their perceptions but uniquely pragmatic in negotiating a complex mix of identities, motivations, corporate influences and state interests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-325
Number of pages15
JournalMedia, War and Conflict
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


  • China
  • Libya
  • digital technology
  • journalistic roles
  • motivations
  • war correspondents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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