China's vast global influence means more reporters are interested in covering the nation. Here are IJNet's top picks for following the country in English.
In addition to mainstream media outlets like the Wall Street Journal’s China Real Time Report and Evan Osnos from the New Yorker, there is a wealth of information about China in English available online. Here is a few alternative ways to understand the country.
China Digital Times
CDT is a bilingual news website covering China’s social and political transition, aggregating breaking news, analysis, and commentary about China. It provides a selective collection of up-to-the-minute news and the content is organized into main categories including: politics, economy, society, law, culture, sci-tech, world, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Founded by Xiao Qiang, the Director of China Internet Project and an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Journalism, University of California at Berkeley, the site is updated frequently with a handful to a dozen pieces daily.
ESWN is a website with English translations of Chinese articles, comments and recommended readings by independent media researcher Roland Soong. Founded in 2003, it's one of the earliest successful bridging sites that connect the Chinese-language publishing world and the English-only-reading audience.
Soong picks up sources from social media, discussion forums and Chinese blogs as well, which offers him a different perspective from mainstream western media. For example, when commenting on the latest train tragedy in Wenzhou, he listed several widely-distributed rumors on the Chinese internet.
China Media Project Newswire
CMP Newswire provides regular summaries of breaking news, important commentaries and other tidbits from Chinese media, translated with background by CMP staff. It monitors Weibo extensively and generates well-researched and multi-faceted posts on a daily basis.
The China Media Project is run by the Journalism & Media Studies Centre at the University of Hong Kong and offers a rich resource of contacts with mainland Chinese media.
chinaSMACK has a very colorful, photo-centric interface, which perfectly underlines its position of translating the most hot or viral on Chinese-language internet. Sources draw from China’s major BBS forums and social networking websites. Its articles also feature translations of select comments made by Chinese netizens in response to the topics, pictures, or videos being discussed, as a way to reflect how some Chinese netizens react, feel, or think.
Baidu Beat gives you a peek into what Chinese Internet users are looking for online. Baidu is China’s leading search engine and “Today’s Top 10 Search” offers a brief daily overview of what is the latest trend in China by aggregating what all those individual search queries add up to.
Author Yolanda Ma is IJNet's senior Chinese editor.