Digital media and investigative journalism in China

Xu, Nairui (2021) Digital media and investigative journalism in China. Media Asia, 48 (3). pp. 158-174. ISSN 0129-6612

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Since 2014, “plot twist news” as a controversial news phenomenon has appeared extensively in Chinese digital communication. In the context of journalism, this refers to news facts provided in follow-up reporting that contradict the facts provided in the initial reporting. Based on interviews with 25 journalists who specialize in in-depth reporting in Beijing in 2017, this study suggests that the phenomenon of plot twist news in the Chinese context urges us to think about how “truth” is being interpreted by different social actors and how the different versions of narrated truth drive journalistic investigation. Built upon field theory, this article argues that the doxa and habitus of the journalism field are challenged by the audience in such a way that journalists try to respond to audience demands through reporting the truth.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Media Asia
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This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Media Asia on 07/05/21, available online:
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22 Apr 2021 14:15
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 10:11