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Book Chapter

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This chapter examines court-media relations in China and argues that such relations are increasingly a two-way street. Media coverage is forcing the courts to act more carefully — and perhaps fairly. But pressure from the courts is also resulting in greater attention to factual reporting and professional standards in the media. This interactive relationship reflects the position of the courts and media as institutions competing for authority within the Chinese political system. It also suggests that there is significant room for ground-up development of both media and the courts.

The first section discusses the growth of media coverage of legal issues in recent years, as well as the effect of the Internet on this coverage. The second section examines the impact of media coverage on the courts, showing that although it may force courts to act more fairly and remedy unjust cases, the media also encourage courts to treat criminal defendants harshly — and may be reinforcing CCP oversight of the legal system. The third section discusses court efforts to resist and control the media. The conclusion discusses the implications of court-media relations for the continued evolution of both institutions.


Comparative and Foreign Law | Courts | Law