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The Truth About China

‘People abroad always thought things were much scarier in China than they really were. What threw me, though, was the urgency of the diplomats in Beijing. They live it, they get it. And they wanted me out.’

Bill Birtles was rushed out of China in September 2020, forced to seek refuge in the Australian Embassy in Beijing while diplomats delicately negotiated his departure in an unprecedented standoff with China’s government. Five days later he was on a flight back to Sydney, leaving China without any Australian foreign correspondents on the ground for the first time in decades.

A journalist’s perspective on this rising global power has never been more important, as Australia’s relationship with China undergoes an extraordinary change that’s seen the detention of a journalist Cheng Lei, Canberra’s criticism of Beijing’s efforts to crush Hong Kong’s freedoms, as well as China’s military activity in the South China Sea and its human rights violations targeting the mostly Muslim Uighur minority in Xinjiang province. Chronicling his five-year stint in China as he criss-crossed the country, Birtles reveals why the historic unravelling of China’s relations with the West is perceived very differently inside the country.

The Truth About China is a compelling and candid examination of China, one that takes a magnifying glass to recent events, and looks through a telescope at what is yet to come.

The Power and the Story

In this sweeping global survey, one of Britain’s most distinguished journalists and media commentators analyses for the first time the state of journalism worldwide as it enters the post-truth age.

In this sweeping global survey, one of Britain’s most distinguished journalists and media commentators analyses for the first time the state of journalism worldwide as it enters the post-truth age.

From the decline of the newspaper in the West and the simultaneous threats posed by fake news and President Trump, to the part that Facebook and Twitter played in the Arab revolts and the radical openness stimulated by WikiLeaks, and from the vast political power of Rupert Murdoch’s News International and the merger of television and politics in Italy, to the booming, raucous and sometimes corrupt Indian media and the growing self-confidence of African journalism, John Lloyd examines the technological shifts, the political changes and the market transformations through which journalism is currently passing.

The Power and the Story offers a fascinating insight into a trade that has claimed the right to hold power to account and the duty to make the significant interesting – while making both the first draft of history, and a profit.

‘lloyd has a vivid reporting style and his many succinct interviews with victims or justifiers of Putin, or Egyptian of Indian style journalism, make his book a page-turner for those interested in question of who decides and writers the news we are permitted to read…. His masterly book is a lament not an obituary.’ – Santigo Gamboa, Tribune