China Media Observatory (CMO) was established in 2006 to increase the academic knowledge of Chinese politics, economics, and culture in the field of media and communication studies. For more than 10 years, CMO has been one of the few European centers dealing with this field of study. CMO has mainly focused on:

  • Scientific Research
    • Promoting the scientific exchange of knowledge with Chinese Universities
    • Developing specific research projects, mainly in cooperation with Chinese and European universities
    • Presenting scientific outcomes in the most important European and Global conferences of media and communication studies, such as IAMCR, ICA, ECREA, the Chinese Communication Association, the Chinese Internet Research Conference, and the China Media History Association
    • Publishing updated research on the Chinese media system thanks to financed research projects and PhD dissertations
  • Academic Teaching
    • Creating and teaching specific courses on Chinese media to Western students at USI and other European Universities
    • Teaching specific courses on the European media system to Chinese students
    • Organizing and teaching modules at different summer schools, some of them organized and co-organized by CMO
  • Service to USI and to the national and international community
    • Representing a hubor Chinese media studies and for professors, students, and Chinese delegates visiting USI. Specifically, CMO has promoted the exchange of scholars and has given assistance to PhDs and Post-Docs willing to spend a period of time doing research at USI thanks to the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Scholars.
    • At the national level, enhancing the scientific cooperation between Switzerland and China through specific frames and cooperation agreements such as the Sino-Swiss Science and Technology Cooperation (SSSTC) and others
    • Providing updated government reports and scientific publications on Chinese media to the international community. CMO also aims to be a documentation center, collecting documents provided by Chinese public institutions, governmental agencies, and the most important Chinese universities and research centers. At the present stage, the CMO documentation center hosts more than 200 official documents in English and Chinese.

In terms of academic research, CMO has been monitoring the most important developments of the Chinese media system with a particular focus on the press, the audiovisual industry (particularly the television and movie industries), and digital media. More specifically, the main research fields covered by CMO scholars and researchers are:

  • The political economy of communication in China – The evolution of strategic processes of the Chinese government related to the media market; regulation of the media system; Chinese market structure; import-export exchanges, and in more general terms, the relationships between media companies, government, and society.
  • Cultural studies and the Chinese media – The use of digital media in China with specific focus on the Internet; cultural receptions of big media events held in China, such as the Olympics; the cultural image of China in Western countries; and relations with media.
  • Chinese media history – The development of Chinese media in the 19th, 20th and early 21st centuries; the historical role of China at the transnational level, with a specific focus on its position within international organizations regulating the media; the mutual shaping of Chinese and Western media in the long perspective. 
  • Chinese intercultural communication – The analysis of intercultural and transnational narratives on Chinese media from a global perspective, with a particular focus on Chinese soft power

CMO has been establishing productive cooperation with some of the most important Chinese universities such as the Communication University of China (CUC), the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Peking University, Tsinghua University, and many others. These collaborations brought joint research projects, mutual visits, and the exchange of scholars, to the organization of summer schools.

The present strucutre of CMO is:


Our Network







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