The Wire is a digital news magazine dedicated to understanding and explaining one of the biggest stories of our time: China’s economic rise, and its influence on global business, finance, trade, labor and the environment.
The weekly publication — founded by David Barboza, who earned two Pulitzer Prizes while serving as the Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times — relies on a diverse group of editors, writers and columnists stationed around the globe. Many of them have years of experience covering China and its evolving relationship with the rest of the world. In 2021, two features from The Wire were named finalists for the prestigious SOPA awards organized by the Society of Publishers in Asia.
Our mission is to provide accurate, balanced, and thoughtful reporting, in the pursuit of truth, “without fear or favor.” We are also dedicated to bringing you diverse viewpoints and ideas, with our columns, book recommendations and Q&A interviews. In doing so, we hope to demonstrate that we are worthy of your time and interest.
Illustrations by Kate Copeland
Why did you create The Wire?
There’s a lot of terrific reporting on China, and yet there is no English language publication singularly devoted to chronicling China’s economic rise and the country’s influence on global politics, business, labor, the environment and the financial markets. We hope to set a high standard for reporting on China, and to create a forum for new voices and seasoned experts, and a platform to showcase deeply reported stories and investigative journalism.
How would you describe The Wire’s approach to journalism?
We aim to pursue big stories, and to search for answers — and solutions — with honesty, integrity and humility; all the while striving to be the very best at what we do. We seek to educate readers in order to help citizens and governments make better decisions and deepen cultural understanding. We also hope that our work will help make businesses and entrepreneurs more efficient. And like the best journalism organizations, we seek to hold people in power accountable.
How do your reporters gather and verify information?
We get on the ground, visit companies, factories, labs and businesses. We comb through research reports and government documents. We also encourage our journalists to find and listen to as many sources as possible, ideally at least 25 interviews for a cover story, before writing. Every source and subject ought to be approached with respect, and fairness. We are open to tipsters and whistleblowers but we shy away from the use of anonymous sources. We take great care in verifying information. On our site, we provide links and footnotes to help readers understand where much of our information originates and what background research we have conducted. We’d like readers of our articles to conclude that a tremendous amount of work went into producing them, and that we strived to be fair and judicious.
How do you differ from other media outlets?
In our pursuit of data and documents. Most newsrooms have laid off researchers and closed their libraries. Publishers refrain from building document archives or a permanent collection to house what they collect in the course of reporting. At The Wire, we have established an in-house library and archive to help our reporters and editors deepen their understanding of issues, share contacts and engage in investigative journalism. We also have access to a unique data platform called WireScreen, run by our sister company, which has comprehensive data on corporations and business elites in China. We consider data and documents central to our mission.
What’s the focus of your news coverage?
We cover China largely from beyond its borders, so we are focused on looking at the country from a global perspective. How do China based businesses invest and operate outside of the country? How do multinationals operate inside China? Who are China’s leading entrepreneurs and startups, and how have they succeeded or failed? How do cross border deals work? How do Americans, Europeans and others invest in China, and how do Chinese businesses invest overseas? When it comes to business, what happens at the intersection of China and the rest of the world? And is there a way to put today’s dynamics in perspective with a historical piece, looking back at the origins of a conflict, or development? These are the types of stories we are pursuing.
Is your publication free?
Some of it, yes. We have a free weekly newsletter that comes out every Sunday, at 7 p.m. New York time, with brief summaries of our weekly issue. At times, we may make individual articles or interviews freely available, but the majority of our content is behind a paywall.
What’s included in a paid subscription?
For $19 a month or $199 a year, you can subscribe to our weekly digital magazine (online only), which features five or six essays and articles every week. Our weekly issue includes an approximately 3,000 word cover story, a news analysis piece, a Q&A with prominent individuals on politics, business and the arts. There is also a full page graphic, called “The Big Picture,” and our books and op-ed columns, featuring writers such as Alec Ash and Victor Shih. The subscription also includes a Thursday afternoon newsletter called “What We’re Reading,” written by David Barboza. He runs down some of the best news articles and documents he’s followed during the past week. Subscribers also gain access to our daily “newsfeed” either on our site or via email. It tracks English language coverage of business, finance and economics in China, everything from The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times to Bloomberg News and Caixin.
Do you offer discounts?
We offer discounts for groups of 10 subscribers or more, and we have special rates for university-wide subscriptions and student discounts. For more information, please write to us at email@example.com
How often do you publish?
We publish 48 issues a year. There are four weeks we do not publish the weekly digital magazine — one week in July, August, November and December.
How can I follow The Wire?
To submit story ideas for consideration, please review our pitch guidelines.
For those interested in reaching our team with news tips or advice about how to improve our publication or its coverage, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org We are also looking to build a marketing team and to recruit talented magazine editors. We are also looking for interns and research associates. Please email us.
P.O. Box 1174
Brookline, MA 02446