China’s over control

China's daily publications

China’s daily publications

China has been on the verge of emerging its political discussion with the media. Chinese officials are more willing to get opinions from the majority in order to improve its services. Such action is commendable for the ability of the Chinese people to be nor involve in the various issues which has an implication on their lives. Majority of the time in history people have not been able to dissent from various laws being passed by the government. The participation of the public has only been up to knowing the law after it was passed by the government. What was more harmful is the fact that some information has been distorted or the truth has been concealed from the many. Only those who were directly affected know the truth about some questionable actions of the government.

 

Chinese media

Chinese media

Public officials have made sure that the public will be unable to influence other people in terms of how they view the government. It was important for them that the image of the government will not he tarnished by some rumors spread by people who are angry at the government. Some human rights violations were hidden from the public despite the importance of them knowing. The government even silenced unknown critics of the officials through employing people who would monitor the internet. Anywhere the government has been able to infiltrate the media. The rising trend of activists however is resorting into going to SMS, government regulated forum or leftist media. People who would dissent are already growing in numbers. There are various exposes done by the activists. The government makes sure that they look like a fool. Discredit whatever grievances they have against the government. This doesn’t benefit people into making it known to the people the government’s faults. Thus, the necessity for some people to brave out into various platforms.

Images by China Digital Times and CNN

China-Japan Historical Narrative Dispute

China is keen on winning the right interpretation of history

China is keen on winning the right interpretation of history

The Chinese government has been open for discussion on the reviewing of the past events. In fact, they have been trying to correct the misconceptions or even some accusations of false information on their historical accounts. During 1931 to 1945, besides the World War II taking place in Asia, the Imperial Japanese Army waged an aggressive war across the Asia Pacific. Japan back then had a goal in trying to expand their power in the region. It has been known that the Japanese government created an establishment and even forced women from across Asia into sexual slavery. They have been known as comfort women wherein only about a third of the victims survived.

Stories of Chinese comfort women has never been heard off before

Stories of Chinese comfort women has never been heard off before

There have been numerous accounts of survivors on their horrific experience. However, it was rare to read on stories of women who came from Mainland China. According to some researches, nearly 400,000 women were enslaved by the Japanese military. People have never heard their stories until recently wherein the Chinese government has been supportive towards the interpretation of history. The political ties of China and Japan have been turbulent in recent years due to the tensions existing in the recent past. Majority of the time they try to use the anniversary of the end of the World War II as a propaganda in trying to win the battle in the right interpretation of the past. The existence of materials wherein people could found out more on the past experiences of the comfort women has been significant. People are now gaining knowledge on how they have struggled into fitting in to the society once the war has ended. Some scholars have also been studying the effect of Chinese patriarchal sociopolitical ideology before and after the war. Chinese comfort women have suffered persecution from their own countrymen and even banishment to a labor camp in Northeast China during the Cultural Revolution. This has been a remarkable contribution in further winning the supposedly right interpretation of history.

Images by Confucius Institute Online and mochi thinking

Reaction to largest Paraxylene Plant

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Environmentalists protest in China

Environmentalists protest in China

Last time, China has experienced an unprecedented milestone in environmental activism. In fact, the Chinese government has ensured that there were a lot of people participating over resolving the issue in the environment. They have conducted a “decide-announce-defend” mode of public hearings wherein various government officials faced off with the public to provide comments on the actions being done over the problems over the construction of the world’s largest parxylene (PX) petrochemical plant in Xianmen, a city in southern China. The construction of the petrochemical plant could give more than $100 billion boost to Xianmen’s GDP annually. However despite the economic incentives given out by the plant, it could endanger the city of Xianmen due to the poisonous materials used by the plant. Despite the strong case against the construction of the plant, Zhao Yuefen, one of the main advocates of protest of the project, the petition was voted down by the State Environmental Protection Administration.

Chinese should be more involved in the media

Chinese should be more involved in the media

The coverage of Zhao’s petition draws out strong public reaction in Xianmen. In fact, environmental advocates such as Li Yiqian and Wu Xian, who initiated websites that contains information over the health-endangering, organized petitions and arranged protest parade, were persecuted by the municipal government. Despite the state countering public criticisms, this did not halt the local residents from expressing their opposition to the project through different strategic ways such as text-message campaigns, online protests, visual arguments and non-violent marches. They have used fear mongering in order to garner support from different locals. They have likened the PX project to an atomic bomb in Xianmen and cited grave effects of chemical spills. They initially used online websites but after it was taken down, they resorted into sending text messages. They leveled up the type of paraphernalia being distributed by including visual portrayals of the grave consequences of the PX plant. Such strategy of activists  assisted in the improvement of the political discussion in the local settings.

Images by Peter Parks and Climate Institute

Participating in Environmental Issues

Chinese should get involved more in environmental issues

Chinese should get involved more in environmental issues

Activists in China has been longing for participation over the decision making in various political agenda in the state. They long to contribute into trying to resolve the common social problems being experienced by different Chinese citizens. Such idea has been prominent in western countries, wherein the media serves as an avenue for people to construct their oppositional argument against the government projects. However such setup has been incompatible in the state action of China. This inhibits public input into state actions. This enabled activists within China to resort into engaging in insurgent discourses. Such action does not ensure people from getting to know your cause. It is sometimes seen as an assumption thus being easily disregarded by the public officials. China needs to have an acceptable mechanism for participation of activists in order for them to have a better grounding. However it is questionable whether or not the Chinese government would be willing into accepting such mechanism. There is a need for a balancing act of Chinese officials on giving free will but at the same time still having the control over the discourse.

Media could facilitate a better way of protesting for environmentalists

Media could facilitate a better way of protesting for environmentalists

One potential reason of China allowing political activists to have an avenue to express their dissent is the protection of the public. In the past few years, China has suffered from dangerous environmental damage due to the inability of the government to listen to various environmentalists. It caused a continuous problem over the environmental situation of China. Before, China is the world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gases and contains 20 of the 30 most air-polluted cities in the world due to the reliance on coal and worse delayed environmental protection. Another reason that could be the possibility of changing the way media cover environmental issues. It is necessary for media to give importance in such issue in order to make the public involve over the resolution of such problems.

Images by The Guardian and BBC

Role of Political Communication

Political Communication influences public policy

Political Communication influences public policy

There are two characteristics of the media and politics and those are potency and vulnerability. In an autonomous media system, it is the most important institution of political communication. The autonomous media system is one of the critical institutions for improving and reproducing democracy. Political communication is known in trying to achieve a certain level of democracy. Its role in proving enough information to the public allows a better understanding of what is happening in the political sphere. The ability of the audience to have a say on what he’ll do to that information being disseminated could further improve the status of the political system in the country.

Political Communication has been restrictive

Political Communication has been restrictive

Another role it provides is a way of binding the public. In the dissemination of information, it allows the public to be involved in the discussion. The exchange of ideas in each citizens allows a better formulation of the resolution to the problem. Engaging in a discussion of a certain issue shows the political maturity of the  public it actually forwards the society better due to such people. Lastly, it also creates political legitimacy. The ability of the government to hear out the grievances of people increases public support. At the center, if the network of political communication lies the mass media, the mass media is better accessed due to the improvement in technology. The media could create media power. It allows people to be easily influenced on what should be the main discussion. It sets out trends on what people should know about. However it is important for them not to inhibit people from speaking up. The media should report things that are true and they should not hide anything from the public. The media, however, has the freedom in choosing what information they would deem relevant. In such, the people would only engage on things that are relevant.

Images by bagcrazier and Amazon

Platforms for Public Opinion

There are multiple platforms for political discussion

There are multiple platforms for political discussion

The suppression of information by the Chinese government would no longer work at the present time due to the ability of the public to obtain information through different means. The people have now different platforms wherein they could obtain information. Such information is important in facilitating a discussion that could help shape the discourse over a certain issue. Government does not have the full control over issues such as implementation of law. People could get to monitor the government’s implementation and even coming up with a certain law. In the involvement of the public the government is now more careful with their actions. Although majority of the time people would be disregarded. At the very least, people could now have avenue to express themselves.

Political communication in China

Political communication in China

Discussion could happen in online blogs. This is a popular platform among activists. Blogging is an easy way to publish articles with little interception from the government. It allows for a faster way of publishing valuable information. In addition to the publication of articles, blog sites has an added feature of providing online forums to people. The free exchange of idea gives the author a network of people who has the same political opinions. In here it allows for people to come together and come up with a more coherent argument against a particular political issue. Another outlet could be the Chinese version of Twitter. Such platform allows a faster exchange of information.Unlike the blog sites, the Chinese version of Twitter lets you establish first your network. It also gives you more audience to read such opinion in an instant. However, it limits the words you get to publish. The advantage is that you could give a live feedback of a fresh issue happening in an instant. Lastly, people could brave out to traditional newspapers. In here it provided more legitimacy to the publisher.

Images by Conquer China and China Sourcing

Media serving as a narrator

Individual narrative could change the way media tell the story

Individual narrative could change the way media tell the story

The media could be a platform into forming a theme connecting various elements from a news story. This could help readers in fully understanding the issue at hand in a coherent whole. This could be achieved when we allow people to have an individual narrative in the media. It could aid in a better understanding and even affect the standing of the media. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the media should portray the most real story but there should be a selection of reality wherein it could also serve as a deflection of reality. For example, in the coverage of environmental news story, majority of the time news outlet either selectively present damage or selectively expose commercial corruption leading to the damage. It has never been published any personal impacts or even explore the systematic problem of various plants. It has been intentionally left out by different news outlet.

Media could attract more audience

Media could attract more audience

The strategy of news agency has been failing due to the inability to make the audience connect to the environmental issues at hand. The audience could be easily swayed over the fact that maybe the priority should be the economy and not the protection of the environment. In order to resolve such failure of the media to engage audience, they could facilitate a better way of providing stories centering on a particular individual. The media should be able to formulate such framework wherein people could easily understand the various points of view of individuals who are willing to share their stories. The successful portrayal of various stories could lead to an audience capable of extrapolating the larger relationships, patterns and issues. The personal narrative could make the audience attracted into engaging with the issue due to an easier way of appealing to the emotional side of the person. Then the audience could further explore on the technicalities of the issues. As we see, the media could be a narrator who best arranges the stories that seem to be isolated to other people and make it useful to solving the various issues.

Images by Matthew Bell and The Washington Post

Role of Citizens

Political activist rallying against the government

Political activist rallying against the government

The role of political activists in trying to get the discussion on political issues is an important element for any political communication. The audience allows us to know how the discussion will evolve into a better form of discourse. It is important that the media gets to explore various point of view due to the inability of one side to encompass all the possible grievances in the field. The audience adds a personal touch in terms of how other people would get to connect with their story. Such personal connection creates a more emphatic kind of audience wherein there’s a need for the government officials to see how its constituents are suffering. The lack of interaction of the government officials to people who has problems that are needed to be addressed to fails the way they resolve the issue. Interaction allows for a more personalized resolution of the problem. At the very least, the solution would be more fitting and no more problems could arise from such situation.

Chinese officials

Chinese officials

Majority of the time people are still unsatisfied with the way the government responded to their issues. The government’s control over the media could be forego in order for an easier way of finding out what are exactly the problems of the citizens. They would no longer need to blindly release laws that try to resolve the issue. They could easily access the opinions of the public through the media and allow this institutions to assist them in trying to get solutions. Such setup could help the government in saving money but also have an image wherein they listen to the people. This way they could increase their rating and even allow the people to trust them more. Allowing the media to facilitate the discussion could further increase political participation. The public could be involved in coming up new laws.

Images by Anthony Kwan and

Major Changes in China’s Political Communication

 

There were changes on government censor things in media

There were changes on government censor things in media

There have been major changes over the Chinese news media on how they conduct their propaganda. In fact the purpose of the Chinese new media evolved into being a highly competitive industry. There has been a dramatic increase of information and surprisingly free will of media into publishing various articles or information. It transitioned into being a totalitarian propaganda wherein the Chinese officials completely control the discourse that is being publicized in the media. The post-totalitarian state of media has still been able to keep the element of certain control over the information being released in various forms of media.  It even let the government oversee what should be a valuable too.

Media should accommodate dissent

Media should accommodate dissent

Some scholars believe that Chinese political communication has four sets of mechanisms: the state, the market, the profession and the international forces. Some even claim that these four sets have a continuous interplay between each other. It constantly affects the nature of Chinese media but even alter their own nature and dynamics in continuous metamorphosis of the Chinese political communication. Media could be considered heterogeneous already due to the possibility of the existence of political logic in the various articles published. The consumption of various forms of media is no longer a blind following of the audience but it includes the comprehending of the information contained in the articles. It is especially present in the highly politically sensitive news wherein people would want to be involved in the discussion of such issue. State has been able to alter the source of legitimacy, power and organizational structure. In fact, the state has been open towards discussion on how to clearly define the boundaries on various news zones. Before the state is used to national, collective and repressive measures in controlling the media, now the state has relied on local, individual and preventive measures. It could be due to the commercialization of the media thus offering a variety of information.

Images by Stan Honda and CPJ