An outsider’s account of working inside China’s censorship regime. Listen to an excellent conversation about ‘Trickle-Down Censorship’ in China with Geraldine Doogue talking to JFK Miller on RN Saturday 18th February. https://radio.abc.net.au/programitem/pgXK6DL5Z6?play=true
“As we enter a post-truth world – or so we are told — there’s probably no better time than to curl up with JFK Miller’s Trickle-Down Censorship: An Outsider’s Account of Working Inside China’s Censorship Regime. It serves well as a timely reminder of the dangers in the other direction – state control of truth and non-truth alike.” Dina Gardner, Asia Sentinel read the review
Want to understand more about China? Listen to Miller’s interview on Los Angeles Review of Books here
“He has the ability to directly question and challenge instances of censorship, which most local Chinese do not have the luxury to, having learned to accept and not question it … as a foreigner working within a Chinese-owned media organization, Miller had an ideal vantage point to observe and record the censorship going on around him.Unfortunately, the problem of censorship does not seem to be in any danger of fading anytime soon in China.” – Hilton Yip , The Asian Review of Books read review here
For six years, from 2005 to 2011, Australian JFK Miller worked in Shanghai for English-language publications censored by state publishers under the aegis of the Chinese Communist Party. In this wry memoir, he offers a view of that regime, as he saw it, as an outsider from the bottom up.
Trickle-Down Censorship explores how censorship affected him, a Westerner who took free speech for granted. It is about how he learned censorship in a system where the rules are kept secret; it is about how he became his own Thought Police through self-censorship; it is about the peculiar relationship he developed with his censors, and the moral choices he made as a result of censorship and how, having made those choices, he viewed others.
This is also the story of a re-emerging colossus – China, the world’s most populous nation and one of its oldest civilizations – and how the Chinese relate to foreigners and the outside world. The so-called “clash of civilizations” is played out in the microcosm of JFK Miller’s experience working under Chinese state censorship.
“…an intelligent and thoughtful account of one man’s losing battle with China’s censorship regime, told in a relaxed and inviting style, with some fine comic moments.”
–James Button, author of Speechless and Comeback
About the author: JFK Miller was born in Brisbane in 1968. Prior to writing full-time, he worked as a lawyer in London, a business developer in Singapore, a magazine editor in Shanghai and a freelancer in Bali and Jakarta. He returned to Brisbane, for keeps, in 2015. He is the founder and curator of Whyiwrite.net, a collection of author interviews inspired by George Orwell’s 1946 essay of the same name and The Paris Review’s “Writers at Work” series (1953 – present). Trickle-down Censorship is his first book.