When I was a wee little thing, I sniffed at the idea of being a journalist, reasoning that I would rather make the news than report it.

After a while in this job, though, I realized that if I didn’t report something, it wasn’t news. No wonder, then, that governments focus on controlling the media and ensuring that their citizens — and the world — hear the story that they want told.

Xi Jinping gets it. Early in his tenure as China’s supreme leader, he called for greater “innovation” in China’s external communication, demanding that the media “tell China’s story well.” His country “must meticulously and properly conduct external propaganda, innovating external propaganda methods, working hard to create new concepts, new categories and new expressions that integrate the Chinese and the foreign, telling China’s story well, communicating China’s voice well.”