PARGC Postdoctoral Scholar Colloquium - Maria Repnikova

Jazz Band Authoritarianism: Critical Journalists and the State in China
Maria Repnikova at Annenberg School for Communication ASC UPenn
23 Oct 2014 - 12:00pm
Annenberg School for Communication, Room 300
Open to the Public


This talk will examine limited political openings in the media in authoritarian contexts through the case study of China. Specifically, it will introduce the key findings from Dr. Repnikova’s book project on the relations between China’s critical journalists and the party-state in the past decade, under the Hu-Wen leadership. In a country renowned for censorship and pervasive propaganda, how do investigative journalists and editors at the nation’s most liberal publications negotiate their role in the political system, and how does the party treat investigative journalism? The talk draws on one year of fieldwork in China and over 100 interviews with China’s leading investigative journalists, party officials in charge of media regulation, and top media and crisis management experts. It explains the key characteristics of the relationship between the two actors, alludes to some shifts in the terrain that joins them under Xi’s leadership, and draws some contrasts with state-media relations in contemporary Russia.  More broadly, Dr. Repnikova theorizes about governance under authoritarian rule and the different modes of coexistence between critical actors and the state. 

About the speaker:

Maria Repnikova is the 2014-2015 PARGC Postdoctoral Fellow. Maria holds a PhD (DPhil) in political science from University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar and a Wai Seng Senior Scholar. Her current research focuses on state-media relations in China, drawing some comparisons to Russia and the Soviet Union. In the past, she has researched Chinese migration to Russia as a Fulbright Scholar, and the political aspects of China's journalism education for her master's dissertation. Her work appeared in academic publications, as well as in media outlets, including Wall Street JournalAl Jazeera English, and Russia's Vedomosti. Maria also has professional experience in the media and communications sector as the Overseas Press Club fellow for Reuters agency in Beijing, and an intern for Google communications team in London and Moscow. She speaks fluent Mandarin, Russian and Spanish. As a PARGC fellow, Maria will be reworking her doctoral dissertation into a book manuscript, as well as examining China’s evolving approaches to crisis communication and comparing the media environment in China and Russia in more detail. She tweets at @MariaRepnikova.

Lunch and colloquium begin at noon. Space is limited, please RSVP to

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