One of the most frequently made European criticisms of China under communist rule has been of the continuing restrictions that the government places upon the freedom of expression of citizens and journalists. This study analyses Chinese journalism within an evolving political system, penetrated increasingly by Western ideas and criticisms as a result of globalisation, the opening up of the Chinese economy and the education of significant numbers of Chinese students in the West. It examines formal and informal restrictions on journalists’ freedom of expression in China. It discusses the modest expansion in their freedom of manoeuvre, as the media has been opened to market forces, and limited forms of criticism have been permitted. The study further explores Chinese views on media control in the context of both historically-rooted concerns about social stability and Communist Party ideology. The analysis concludes by discussing possible paths forward for Chinese journalism, bearing in mind the fact that the internet is likely to become increasingly difficult for the authorities to control, with both user numbers, and technological advances, increasing significantly.