UTS:ACRI WEBINAR: Inside the ‘black box’ of Chinese-language media in Australia – in conversation with Wanning Sun

November 17 2021

Chinese-language media in Australia include both long-established legacy media and more recently developed digital/social media. In recent years, this sector has come under increasing scrutiny as discussion around influence and interference by the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has grown.  

In September 2016, the Australia-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS:ACRI) published Chinese-language media in Australia: Developments, challenges and opportunities, the first report on Australia’s Chinese-language media, including print, electronic and digital media. Since that report, Australia’s Chinese-language media landscape has become even more complex, dynamic, and fluid. Digital technologies continue to transform the ways in which Chinese-language media content is produced, accessed, and consumed. Despite these rapid developments, public knowledge about how this new digital industry operates is still at best fragmented.

Wanning Sun, Professor of Media and Communication Studies at UTS and UTS:ACRI Advisory Board member joined Hamish McDonald, former Asia-Pacific Editor at The Sydney Morning Herald, in conversation in an online webinar for a deep-dive into Chinese-language media in Australia. The discussion was followed by audience Q&A.

This discussion drew on a series of UTS:ACRI briefs on Chinese-language media in Australia written by Professor Sun:

  1. Why apps are a game changer for Chinese-language media in Australia
  2. What are the key misconceptions about censorship in Australia’s Chinese-language media?
  3. How does Australia’s Chinese-language media negotiate between Australian and PRC state media?
  4. What kinds of stories are popular in Australia’s Chinese-language digital media?
  5. What would Australia’s public diplomacy agenda stand to gain from engaging with its Chinese-language media?

Data used in these briefs come from a three-year Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project (DP180100663, Chief Investigators: Wanning Sun and Haiqing Yu) ‘Chinese-language digital/social media in Australia: Rethinking soft power’. 

Time: 12.30pm - 1.30pm AEDT


About the speaker

Wanning Sun

Wanning Sun is a UTS:ACRI Advisory Board member and Research Associate, and a Professor of Media and Communication in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at UTS. She is a specialist in a number of areas, including Chinese media and cultural studies; rural-to-urban migration and social change in contemporary China; and soft power, public diplomacy and diasporic Chinese media. She is the author of three single-authored monographs: Leaving China: Media, Migration, and Transnational Imagination (2002); Maid in China: Media, Morality, and the Cultural Politics of Boundaries (2009); and Subaltern China: Rural Migrants, Media, and Cultural Practices (2014). Two of her edited volumes—Media and the Chinese Diaspora: Community, Communication and Commerce (2006) and Media and Communication in the Chinese Diaspora: Rethinking Transnationalism (2016)—document the history and development of Chinese language media in Australia, North America, Europe, Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia.

About the moderator

Hamish McDonald

Hamish McDonald is a former foreign editor of The Sydney Morning Herald who has been a correspondent in many Asian capitals. His main China experience came as regional editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review in Hong Kong around the time of Tiananmen, and then as Beijing correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age from 2002 to 2005 when he won a Walkley Award for an article about the suppression of Falungong. He contributed a chapter about this time in the recent book The Beijing Bureau.


Event Information
November 17 2021
12:30 PM
Webinar (online-only)