The portals listed under “Starting Points” generally feature newsfeeds and links to media outlets. Many major American and European news sources have Beijing bureaus, with occasional on-site reporting from Taiwan and Hong Kong – the Guardian, New York Times, and BBC tend to have the most extensive coverage. For in-depth knowledge and a variety of perspectives, however, these are some of the most prominent local media sites.
Newspapers and magazines
China Media Guide, Danwei.org http://www.danwei.org/editorial/china_media_guide.php An excellent annotated list of media sites of all types, portals and more (mainland oriented) from this invaluable blog.
Chinese Media Net (多維媒體). A New York-based media company that publishes an extensive news website that covers a variety of regions, as well as military, historical, and entertainment analysis, and discussion boards.
China Digital Times (Chinese site: 中国数字时代) An independent, bilingual media organization that serves as a news aggregator and explainer and guide to blogs and other online resources. CDT offers invaluable and up-to-date resources on media terminology and access, as well special reports on technology and contemporary society and on news history.
China Media Project (中國傳媒研究計畫), University of Hong Kong http://cmp.hku.hk/ Analyzes media reform; an excellent source of information on the general state of China's media, and important developments.
China News Digest www.cnd.org. This US-based site provides a digest of stories on China, Taiwan and Hong Kong from the official and unofficial press, in Chinese and English. For Chinese readers, it also includes a literary magazine and bulletin board.
Boxun (博讯新闻网) http://www.boxun.com/ or Peacehall (English version) http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/english/page1.shtml. Another overseas-based news site. Worth reading since some items come directly from Chinese activists, but always in tandem with other sources, as the editors do not necessarily verify stories and accuracy has been known to vary. The EastSouthWestNorth blog linked below is a good source of analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of Boxun.
Sohu News (新闻中心 -- 搜狐网站) http://news.sohu.com/. The news section for one of the most popular web portals in China.
China Daily http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/. The official English-language newspaper of the Chinese government. Also a discussion forum and business and travel info.
People’s Daily (人民日报) http://www.people.com.cn/. Extensive website built around the primary official news outlet of the Chinese government. English, Japanese, Russian, French, Spanish and Arabic versions also available.
City Weekend http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/. A biweekly magazine published in Beijing, aimed primarily at the expat community. The website also features city guides to Beijing and Shanghai, with information on restaurants, entertainment, businesses, events, as well as classified ads.
Nanfang Daily (南方日报)and Nanfang City News (南方都市报) http://www.nfmedia.com/southnews/. This Guangzhou-based family of papers is recognized by many to have superior reporting and a somewhat higher level of frankness than many PRC mainstream press outlets.
Caijing (财经) http://www.caijing.com.cn/ The best business magazine in China also sometimes produces hard-hitting general interest stories. Site includes English as well as Chinese content.
South China Morning Post www.scmp.com. A valuable source of English-language news on greater China and East Asia as well as on Hong Kong. Registration required.
Ming Pao (明報新聞網) www.mingpaonews.com. Extensive site for this Chinese-language Hong Kong paper.
Singtao Electronic Daily (星島網) http://std.stheadline.com/index.html. Chinese-language Hong Kong newspaper; the English-language Standard can also be accessed from this site.
Apple Daily (蘋果日報) http://hk.apple.nextmedia.com/ Tabloidy and wildly popular.
Focus Taiwan and CNA (中央社) The English and Chinese sites, respectively, for releases from the official Taiwan Central News Agency. Includes video, photos, and editorials, as well as links to Spanish and Japanese sites.
Taipei Times http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/. The best English-language newspaper in Taiwan. Often has feature stories and editorials that serve as useful sources of cultural and political background information. Searchable archives to 1998.
China Post www.chinapost.com.tw. Published since 1952, the China Post provides business and economic information as well as general news. Some bilingual stories and features useful for language learners.
China Times (中時電子報) http://news.chinatimes.com/mainpage.htm. This and the following four sites represent the major Chinese-language dailies in Taiwan.
ETToday (東森新聞報) http://www.ettoday.net/
Liberty Times (自由時報電子新聞網) http://www.ltn.com.tw/
South News (南方快報) http://www.southnews.com.tw/
United Daily News (聯合新聞網) http://udn.com/NEWS/main.html
Apple Daily, Taiwan edition (泰蘋果網路) http://www.appledaily.com.tw/
The Journalist (新新聞週刊) http://www.new7.com.tw/. Taiwan’s most respected investigative newsweekly (Chinese only.)
Global Voices Online http://globalvoicesonline.org//. A project of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, this site finds and links to interesting blogs from around the world. It also features podcasts, Skypecasts and other media. It is particularly strong on content from China, and in addition to regular links contains many useful discussions on the state of press and internet freedom. It is considerably weaker on Taiwan and Hong Kong.
EastSouthWestNorth http://www.zonaeuropa.com/weblog.htm is a must-read, and covers Taiwan and Hong Kong as well as China. Here Roland Soong posts English translations of Chinese-language media articles, blog entries, bulletin-board postings (BBS) and other web happenings, as well as his own invaluable analysis.
A useful list of blogs is also kept in the University of Redland's "East and Southeast Asia: An Annotated Directory of Internet Resources" at http://bulldog2.redlands.edu/dept/AsianStudiesDept/
Bullog (牛博网) http://www.bullog.cn/ is a Chinese-language aggregator site run by blogger Luo Yonghao, collecting the content of the more progressive blogs in China.
The China Beat. Analysis of media coverage of China, and in-depth background on issues in the news. No longer updating, but archives are invaluable.
Radio and Television
Sites with streaming radio and television broadcasts are too numerous to list in their entirety here. The best place to start is at the major web and media portals and video services (Sina, Youku, etc.) A list of sites with free (but not ad-free) video streaming can be found here. A guide to some online Chinese radio stations is here (and here for Taiwan). The free iOS app TuneIn is a very useful way to access talk and music stations around the world.
Buying books, music, movies, etc.
The proliferation of internet merchandising in recent years has made it much easier to acquire new publications and media much cheaper and faster than ever before. Not only do US vendors carry a wider selection than in the past, but most of the major Asian portals, such as Sina.net, offer links to vendors. As with all web purchasing, consumers should use good judgment in deciding where to buy. Below are a few of the more reliable and experienced sources.
China Books and Periodicals, Inc. www.chinabooks.com. One of the oldest publishers and vendors of English, Chinese and bilingual books about China. Specializes in literature and language texts, but you can also find many films and some traditional music here, as well as software.
Cheng & Tsui www.cheng-tsui.com. Like China Books, both a publisher and distributor of books, audio-visual material and software on Asian languages, culture and history.
Kongfz.com 孔夫子旧书网 The Chinese bibliophile's Ebay. Not really set up for international transactions, but a must-visit for researchers and students visiting China.
Nan Hai Co., Inc. www.nanhai.com. Videos, DVDs and VCDs of films and TV series from mainland China, print and CD-ROM dictionaries and reference works, Chinese- and English-language books from China.
YesAsia www.yesasia.com. Sells books, DVDs/VCDs/videos and CDs in both Chinese and English (as well as Korean, Japanese, etc.) You can also find appliances, electronics, snacks and other Asian goods here.
Dragonsource.com (龍湶國際書網) http://www.dragonsource.com/. US-based site for Chinese-language books, multimedia and magazine subscriptions.
Facets Multi-Media. Specializing in independent and foreign film, this is a good source for DVDs and videos of contemporary arthouse directors from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan (such as Wong Kar-wai, Hou Hsiao-hsien, etc.)