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News and Censorship in Wartime Shanghai | Daqing Yang

  • Tavern Radisson Xingguo Hotel Shanghai (map)

This is a Royal Asiatic Society Shanghai Lecture

News and Censorship in Wartime Shanghai
Daqing Yang

It is often said that truth is the first casualty of war. With the advance in communications technology and the rise of mass media, governments’ motivation and ability to influence news reporting became much greater. One hundred years ago, the Great War (1914-1918) was the first modern war of information and propaganda.

As the centre of international news in East Asia, Shanghai naturally became a battleground of information warfare shortly after Japanese forces invaded in autumn 1937. Despite the absence of a war declaration, Japanese military exercised belligerent rights by censoring news telegrams transmitted through foreign communications companies in Shanghai. Tapping the archives of such a company for the first time this talk reveals the hitherto unknown story of news and censorship, and explores their implications for the war and society.


Tuesday 16 February 2016 | 19.00 - 21.00

Tavern at the Radisson Xingguo Hotel

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Daqing Yang is an Associate Professor of History and International Affairs at the George Washington University, where he teaches modern Japanese history. A native of China, Professor Yang graduated from Nanjing University and received his Ph.D. from Harvard University. His research interests include the Japanese empire, World War II, as well as memory and reconciliation. His book, Technology of Empire: Telecommunications and Japanese Expansion in Asia, 1883-1945, was published in 2011. His co-edited works include Communication under the Sea (2006) and Toward a History Beyond Borders: Contentious Issues in Sino-Japanese Relations (2012). In 2015 he was interviewed in the Shanghai Media Group’s documentary on World War II, Another Battleground.