Freedom of the Press in China
Freedom of the Press in China
A Conceptual History, 1831-1949
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15.6 x 23.4 cm
Asian Studies
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1. The Enlightenment of the West
China in a Transitional Period
The Earliest Writings on Press Freedom
Writings of Western Protestant Missionaries
Writings of Chinese Students in the West
Writings of Chinese Envoys
List of Works Cited

2. Chuban Ziyou: The Invention of a Neologism
Liang Qichao and the Birth of Chuban Ziyou
Chinese Students in Japan and Their Introductions to Press Freedom
The Problematic Origins of Chinese Press Freedom
List of Works Cited

3. The Liminal Landscape
The Pragmatic View
Press Freedom as a Civil Right
List of Works Cited

4. The Intellectual Legacy of Sun Yat-sen
The New Era
Sun Yat-sen's Anti-Liberal Thoughts
Sun Yat-sen Worship
The San-min Doctrine of Journalism Theory
List of Works Cited

5. The Empty Phrase and the Popular Ignorance
Press Freedom in Constitutional Documents
Press Freedom in School Textbooks
Violent Mobs and Ignored Freedom
List of Works Cited

6. Conceptual Debates in the 1920s and 1930s
Minquan (People's Rights) or Human Rights
Press Freedom versus Press Control
List of Works Cited

7. The Last Call for Press Freedom
The Constitutional Movement and Democrats' Propositions
The Movement for Freedom of Information
The Fear of Communist Publications
List of Works Cited

List of Works Cited


Reviews and Features

Yi Guo wins the 2020 Chinese Journalism and Mass Communication Association Award, awarded by the Chinese Association for History of Journalism and Mass Communication! Read the full article.

"Yi Guo’s Freedom of the Press in China: A Conceptual History, 1831-1949 is a timely contribution that enhances our understanding of freedom of speech and the press, providing a historical dimension and cultural specificity, namely, China in the first half of the 20th century. [...] The book is a well-researched scholarly work and will appeal to anyone – particularly advanced undergraduate and graduate students – interested in the history of journalism and publishing, intellectual history and social history in modern China."
- Qiliang He, The China Quarterly, 245, March 2021

Yi Guo

Freedom of the Press in China

A Conceptual History, 1831-1949

Western commentators have often criticized the state of press freedom in China, arguing that individual speech still suffers from arbitrary restrictions and that its mass media remains under an authoritarian mode. Yet the history of press freedom in the Chinese context has received little examination. Unlike conventional historical accounts which narrate the institutional development of censorship and people’s resistance to arbitrary repression, Freedom of the Press in China: A Conceptual History, 1831-1949 is the first comprehensive study presenting the intellectual trajectory of press freedom. It sheds light on the transcultural transference and localization of the concept in modern Chinese history, spanning from its initial introduction in 1831 to the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. By examining intellectuals’ thoughts, common people’s attitudes, and official opinions, along with the social-cultural factors that were involved in negotiating Chinese interpretations and practices in history, this book uncovers the dynamic and changing meanings of press freedom in modern China.
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Yi Guo

Dr. Yi Guo is an Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism and Communication at Chongqing University. He is also affiliated with the Centre for Media History at Macquarie University as an honorary member. He was formerly a journalist for the Xinhua News Agency.