Debates on CCP Newspaper Policy in Hong Kong Circa 1949 and the Elimination of Private Newspapers in the early 1950S in the PRC


He Bixiao

in Media History (2020)

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Abstract: Drawing upon secret correspondence between the British colonial government in Hong Kong and the Foreign Office in London, Hong Kong newspapers and individual memoirs, this paper examines how the British colonial government enabled CCP propaganda that shaped the formation of the early news policies of the newly founded PRC. Challenging the conclusions of previous scholarship, this study argues that while Hong Kong was the centre of political debates regarding whether privately-owned newspapers could exist in the PRC, Communist Party leaders in Hong Kong reached an internal consensus regarding press reform well before the New Democracy Revolution was aborted. Furthermore, the democrats and private newspapers runners, who were the intended objects of transformation, contributed to the process of the demise of private newspapers without requiring recourse to violent-means on the part of the Communists.

About the author: He Bixiao was a HYI Chinese Politics Training Program Visiting Scholar from 2016-17.