Hugo de Burgh

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Professor Hugo de Burgh is a British media theorist and academic. de Burgh is Director of the China Media Centre at the University of Westminster, which he set up in January 2005 and is unique in Europe for its focus on studying the world's largest media system. He earlier ran the Centre for Media Research at Goldsmith's College.


de Burgh has extensive experience teaching and writing about the media, especially that of China. He has been editor, contributor and author of several books. His expertise ranges through international media and investigative journalism, China's culture industries and policy.


His original focus is the social function of journalism as a reflection of culture. He is usually quoted as saying "It is often said that journalism is the first rough draft of history; by contrast, investigative journalism provides the first rough draft of legislation..."[1]

His 2003 book 'The Chinese Journalist: mediating information in the world's most populous country' exposed the cognitive dissonance of Chinese media workers unable to realise their own expectations of their work. It also demonstrated that, far from seeing themselves as Westernizing, media workers were looking to past Chinese experience for inspiration and drawing upon their perceptions of Chinese culture as well as upon the tools of expression provided by the internet.

His publications include: (2013)[co-writer] The West You Really Don’t Know (in Chinese); (2012) [co-writer] China’s Environment and China’s Environment Journalists; (2012) [co-ed] Western Correspondents in China: system and policy (in Chinese); (2010) de Burgh, Hugo et al. New Opportunities for Climate Change and Environmental Reporting in China; (2008) [ed] Investigative Journalism [2nd Edition]; (2007) The China Impact: China’s Rise and the future of the UK; (2007) [co-ed] Can the Prizes still Glitter? The future of British universities in a changing world; (2006) China: Friend or Foe?; (2005) [ed] China and Britain: the Potential Impact of China’s Development; (2005) Making Journalists: Diverse Models, Global Issues; (2003) The Chinese Journalist: Mediating information in the world’s most populous country

Chinese journalism[edit]

Of special interest is the reappearance of investigative journalism in China since 1992. He said this showed that the supposedly western techniques of investigative journalism apply in contrasting political cultures.[2]

It was a surprise to Western observers to find that the Chinese media (and investigative journalists in particular) are, despite limitations upon them, influencing public life today by introducing new and unconventional ideas, changing terms of reference, forcing the pace of reform, giving voice to concerns and calling attention to issues.[2]


  1. ^ Investigative Journalism: Context and Practice, Hugo de Burgh ed, London and New York: Routledge, 2006
  2. ^ a b Tiger Hunting at Newsprobe, by Hugo de Burgh
  • Investigative Journalism: Context and Practice, Hugo de Burgh ed, London and New York: Routledge, 2000.
  • Tiger Hunting at Newsprobe article by Hugo de Burgh

External links[edit]