Chai Jing: The Power of Vulnerability

Document Type

Contribution to Book

Publication Date



In the past seventeen years Chai Jing has risen from China’s official media to become a recognized investigative journalist, public intellectual, author, and more recently, an independent filmmaker and environmental activist. Her experience and work reflect how China’s news apparatus has reformed to adapt to the drastic societal changes with emotion being used to open up new ways of news communication. Her documentary Under the Dome further shows how the internet has transformed the ecology of media and provided innovative platforms for social engagement. Chai’s embracing her own feelings of vulnerability, which dominated the beginning of her career, and using it to channel public feelings and drive news reporting has made her a distinctively controversial media personality. Her leaving the CCTV can be viewed as a self-marginalization that helps her sustain that vulnerability, through which she gains resilience and critical power. The use of maternal voice in Under the Dome exemplifies her use of the power of vulnerability in its most mature form. The controversiality about that voice signals that post-socialist China remains a space where environmental and gender discourses are contested and negotiated.

Document Object Identifier (DOI)



Palgrave Macmillan



Publication Information

Female Celebrities in Contemporary Chinese Society

This document is currently not available here.