Comparing media systems in India and China

That the world's two most populous countries are either disinterested or suspicious of each other is not surprising - there is hardly any substantial, well-researched, information flow between the two media worlds.

In late 2013, Indian media firms had only four correspondents in China and none were TV reporters. And Chinese media organizations had 15 stationed in India.

The three differences between the two countries' media worlds are language, the degree of control and regulation, and the contrasting perceptions that journalists in both countries had about their jobs. In India, proprietorial and social controls play a larger role in shaping the role of media than government regulation says the book.

In China, every media organization has members from the Communist Party which also retains 51 percent in media outlets. The State Administration for Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT) oversees and censors all media in China. Chinese journalists can be jailed for offending the government. They know what is expected and self-censorship is widespread. This is also the case in India, but more because of an understanding of who your proprietor is close to or leaning towards.

The last difference, however, is so telling of the two countries. To the question "What is the responsibility of media?" Chinese journalists said, "To promote development and harmony." Indian journalists said, "To search for truth," or "To keep politicians honest".

For decades, India’s approach to China has been defined by hostility and fear—emotions stemming, among much else, from competing border claims, the memory of India’s humiliating defeat in the 1962 Sino-Indian War, and the two countries’ locations in rival geopolitical camps down the years. Indian newspapers channel the othering of China through reporting marked by ingrained jingoism and suspicion, which often results in stories with outlandish spin