The Political and Economic Dependence of the Press in Macao under Portuguese and Chinese Rule: Continuity and Change
Issue Date: 
2021
Publisher: 
Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Navarra
ISSN: 
2386-7876
Citation: 
Costa-Ribeiro, N,. (Nelson); Simões, J.M. (José Manuel). "The Political and Economic Dependence of the Press in Macao under Portuguese and Chinese Rule: Continuity and Change". Communication & Society. 34 (1), 2021, 29 - 40
Abstract
The article analyses the media system in Macao, a special administrative region of China that transitioned from Portuguese to Chinese sovereignty in 1999, becoming one of cities in the world with the largest number of published newspapers per capita. Combining historical research with the analysis of contemporary empirical data collected through interviews with journalists working on the ground, the research demonstrates how there is a long tradition of state control that goes back to the colonial era and that has assumed different forms, ranging from outright censorship to physical intimidation of journalists and economic dependence on the government. Limitations and control strategies imposed on news reporting during the Portuguese administration continue to be practiced today by the Chinese authorities. Even so, journalists operating on the Macao media market tend to overstate the level of freedom they are given, which can be attributed to media outlets being economically dependent on the state. Nevertheless, the level of freedom attributed to the press is today higher than it had been during the colonial period with some critical voices being allowed to reach the media. This needs to be understood in the context of what has been defined as the Chinese safety valve strategy.

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