Sinovac Biotech CEO Yin Weidong speaks to journalists at an event at the site where the company is producing their potential COVID-19 vaccine CoronaVac on September 24, 2020 during a media tour in Beijing, China.
Sinovac Biotech CEO Yin Weidong speaks to journalists at an event at the site where the company is producing their potential COVID-19 vaccine CoronaVac on September 24, 2020 during a media tour in Beijing, China. © Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Focus

The Post: Chinese-language Media Project

Years active: 2021-present

IWPR is working to encourage independent journalism among Chinese-language communities outside the mainland. We help media businesses of all kinds, large and small, to identify and share best practices and audience-building strategies to support their future development.

1. PURPOSE

The Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR), dedicated to supporting professional journalism around the world for over 30 years, started this project out of concern about independent grassroots Chinese-language media surviving overseas.

Insufficient research has been done on this topic, as more attention is given to government-initiated platforms and voices. This project aims to identify and share the best business practices and community-building strategies among Chinese-language media outside mainland China, to support their future development.

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A view of Shanghai skyline.
A view of Shanghai skyline. © Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

2. SPONSOR

IWPR is a non-profit organisation based in London, funded by private donors, governments and foundations. It began 30 years ago during the Balkan wars that followed the breakup of Yugoslavia.

IWPR has worked in almost 100 countries helping train journalists to professional standards and develop independent and objective media. It is currently active in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and Europe. IWPR helps media outlets refine their products and reach new audiences.

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The Chinese diaspora in Indonesia celebrating a somewhat subdued Lunar New Year, as Covid-19 restrictions cut into what is traditionally a time for people to meet their relatives.
The Chinese diaspora in Indonesia celebrating a somewhat subdued Lunar New Year, as Covid-19 restrictions cut into what is traditionally a time for people to meet their relatives. © Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images

3. BENEFICIARIES

Chinese-language independent media including “self-media” or micromedia (ie Independently operated online portals and accounts run by individual users) outside mainland China, based in Asia (eg South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia), Oceania (Australia, New Zealand), Europe (eg UK, Italy, Czech Republic), and the Americas (eg Canada, Brazil). We hope to map the landscape and characteristics of independent media and influencers, not those affiliated with governments or large corporations.

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A television crew recording a news segment.
A television crew recording a news segment. © Will Russell/Getty Images

4. OUTPUT

We will circulate a report on our findings, in both Chinese and English, in early 2022. This report will assess the different kinds of media being pioneered by Chinese-speakers outside China, particularly the successes and challenges of their business operations and community development, and provide suggestions for their future.

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Dragon dancers perform during Grebeg Sudiro festival in Solo City, Central Java, Indonesia.
Dragon dancers perform during Grebeg Sudiro festival in Solo City, Central Java, Indonesia. © Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images

5. TEAM MEMBERS

Our supervisor is Alan Davis, the Director of Asia & Eurasia projects at IWPR. Team leader is Scott Malcomson, a veteran journalist (New Yorker, New York Times), author and IWPR board member.


The research team is:
 

Niva Yau 
Resident Researcher at the OSCE Academy and a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. Her works focus on China’s global affairs, especially foreign policy, trade and security posture towards Central Asian countries and Afghanistan. Her article China’s Policy Banks Are Lending Differently, Not Less was awarded a prize for best political economy writing in 2020 by the Washington Post.
 

Filip Noubel 
Journalist and media trainer with over 25 years of experience in Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, China, Mongolia and Taiwan. He is Managing Editor for Global Voices and works as a researcher on the Belt and Road Initiative, overseas Sinophone media and Russia and China’s influence in Central Asia. He also works as a literary correspondent and translator of Czech, Uzbek, Sinophone and Russophone literatures. He is currently based in Prague, Berlin and Tbilisi. Most of his articles can be found here, and his Tweets here.
 

Wendy Zhou 
PhD Candidate in Public Communication at Georgia State University, researching digital journalism, public discourse, and diaspora media. She served as the Chinese editor of the Global Investigative Journalism Network and Research Assistant at the Journalism and Media Studies Center at the University of Hong Kong.

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