Pacifying the Dragon? The Role of Expatriate Media Professionals in the Gatekeeping Process in China

Lindsey E. Blumell, Yiwen Qiu, Robert Moses Peaslee


China is currently characterized as having a censored media system, which poses challenges to expatriates (expats) who work within the Chinese media system. This study analyzes the motivations for expats to work in China through a gatekeeping lens. Through in-depth interviews of expat media professionals, themes of limited acculturation emerge, as well as few opportunities for input during gatekeeping processes related to hard news, but there are more opportunities for input in the production of business news, entertainment, and lifestyle programming. Although content is restricted, participants laterally influence their colleagues by mentoring them based on individual-level forces such as professional values and education. Censorship is accepted by expats as unchangeable. Social system forces become more manifest instead of being implicit.




gatekeeping, China’s media system, expatriates, censorship

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