BEIJING—Claiming the changed media landscape of the digital age has led to a marked drop in the depth and quality of party propaganda, veteran reporters in China expressed concern this week over what they see as the decline of traditional state-controlled journalism in their country. As critics reflected on the proliferation of government-operated clickbait news sites, the emphasis on social-media-friendly propagandist content designed solely to boost traffic, and the pressure to disseminate the latest manipulative falsehoods with ever-greater speed, many questioned whether the state-run media was still living up to its responsibility to serve as the trusted mouthpiece of the Communist Party of China. “Reporters used to have the time to sit down, read the day’s official press release from the Central Propaganda Department, and craft a carefully written 2,000-word article describing the government’s flawless response to a massive earthquake or deadly riot,” said Zhang Li of the People’s Daily, describing the great care she and her colleagues take in upholding censorship standards. “Now, we’re given 15 minutes to whittle down a party directive on the booming economy into a single paragraph that they’ll post on our social media page in the hopes it goes viral.” “These days, being a… Read full this story
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