TITLE

The Rising Tide of Internet Opinion in China

AUTHOR(S)
Xiao Qiang
PUB. DATE
June 2004
SOURCE
Nieman Reports;Summer2004, Vol. 58 Issue 2, p103
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Internet has an influential role in China's public life. The number of Chinese Internet users is quickly reaching 80 million. About one-fifth of Chinese netizens regularly make use of bulletin board systems (BBS), the most politically active place in Chinese cyberspace. These BBS can be run by individuals, commercial companies or government agencies. The BBS have provided unprecedented opportunities for Chinese netizens to engage in public affairs. In 2003, there were more than half a dozen of those online uprising events. These were mostly cases involving police abuse, corruption, crime and social justice. Together they resulted in creating a new form of public opinion in China, Wangluo Yulun or Internet Opinion became a formal phenomenon and entered the Chinese public discourse. This online uprising has had a significant impact on Chinese society because there is still no systematic way for the public to participate in and express themselves about policy and social issues. When the online discussions on current events are within the limits of government political tolerance, then the official media is allowed to discuss and report on them. Since the traditional media remains under tight editorial control of propaganda officials, without the Internet their report, by themselves, will never be able to generate such debate.
ACCESSION #
13533150

 

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