Chinese language newspapers in Australia: Beijing controls messaging, propaganda in press

Chinese language newspapers in Australia: Beijing controls messaging, propaganda in press, by Kelsey Munro and Philip Wen.

It can come in the form of an admonishing phone call, blocking reporters from a public event, via directives for mainland-linked businesses to pull advertising, or even direct investment from Chinese government bodies.

One way or another, Beijing has extended its messaging control over almost all the Chinese language media in Australia, Australian Chinese media sources say. Politically sensitive or unfavourable coverage of China and the ruling Communist Party has been effectively stopped outside all but a couple of Chinese language outlets, as the government steps up efforts to filter what the Chinese diaspora consumes. …

The tactics employed involve both stick and carrot, and exploit the commercial pressures small independent publications routinely face. Advertisers, usually Chinese-owned firms or businesses which rely on good relations with the Chinese government, are told by consulate officials to pull advertising from non-compliant media outlets, and are directed instead to divert their dollars to those who toe the party line, the editor said.