Meet the Press

Elizabeth Dalziel /AP

AND HERE IS THE NEWS: Many journalists do their best within difficult constraints

Two caricatures have defined the international view of Chinese journalists. The first is that of the Orwellian mouthpiece — the unquestioning apparatchik feeding the cowed masses their daily dose of newspeak. The second is that of the dissident author, imprisoned, beaten and tortured for railing against corruption and human-rights abuses, or forced into lonely exile and doomed forevermore to wander the Western lecture circuit.

There is some truth in both images. But the 20 Beijing-based journalists interviewed by University of Iowa journalism professor Judy Polumbaum in China Ink fall somewhere...

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