Translating the news in China: the evolution of Reference News and its future in a digital news landscape

Thomas Chase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Reference News is a prominent, Mainland Chinese newspaper that, for many decades, has translated and published foreign language news reports for its sizable readership. Over the course of its long history, both as a result of government directives and in response to the changing nature of Chinese society, the newspaper has undergone successive transformations. This study charts these changes, documenting Reference News’ earlier roles as intra-party intelligence bulletin and as a tool of ideological inculcation before analysing the newspaper’s later struggles to adapt to a pluralised and commercialised media market. This article argues that the more recent challenges posed by the increasing popularity of digital sources of news information has meant that despite a robust strategy designed to embrace the opportunities of the digital era, the future of Reference News as a successful and influential publisher in the digital realm is by no means certain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-152
Number of pages13
JournalMedia International Australia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Reference News
  • China
  • Chinese newspapers
  • mobile digital news
  • news media digitalisation
  • news translation

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