David Bandurski is Co-director of the China Media Project, an independent research and fellowship programme founded in 2004 at the University of Hong Kong’s Journalism & Media Studies Centre. His research focuses on media policy and propaganda, the political discourse of the Chinese Communist Party, and trends in journalistic professionalism such as investigative reporting. David is the author of Dragons in Diamond Village (Penguin 2016), a book of reportage about urbanisation and social activism in China, and co-editor of Investigative Journalism in China (HKU Press 2010). He is currently a Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin.
Back in 2017, the Discovery Channel aired China: Time of Xi, a slick documentary series presenting China as a dynamic nation on the cutting edge under the stewardship of its ‘people-centred’ President, Xi Jinping. While by most accounts the series was simply good programming featuring renowned international personalities, this essays takes a more critical look at the circumstances surrounding the production, arguing that there was more to it than it meets the eye.