Project Proposal

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  • Topic: Sociology, Social media, Public relations
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  • Published : May 14, 2013
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HONG KONG BAPTIST UNIVERSITY
SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATION&
SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
2012-2013 ACADEMIC YEAR
COMM 7290
Project Proposal

Social Media on Child Sexual Abuse in China
----An exploratory Study

PROJECT SUPERVISOR Dr. Vincent Chow
TEAM MEMBERS LIU Fang 12423777
TU Shihui 12402745
ZHANG Bing 12423734
ZHANG Yimeng 12436844
ZHU Pingting 12436828
Background:
On January 25, 2011, Yu Jianrong, a professor from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences opened a Weibo account named “Take Photos To Save Children Beggars”, uploading the photos of more than 70 children on it. In just three weeks, the account attracted nearly 900,000 Weibo followers and over 17 hundred images of vulnerable children have been uploaded. Moreover, six abducted children have been identified and saved through the pictures provided by Weibo users, according to CNTV’s report on February 12, 2011. On March 9, 2011, led by journalist of the Phoenix Weekly Deng Fei, “Free Lunch for Children” project was launched on Weibo to help primary schools in remote villages provide lunches to students. In just two months, followers of the Weibo account soared and general public began to donate money and things to them. According to the report of Xinhua News Agency on October 31, 2012, students at 178 rural schools in Hunan, Hubei, Guizhou and Yunnan provinces have received free lunches through the project. Over 1 million people have donated to the project, with donations totalling 32.3 million yuan. This program not only successfully drawn public attention, but also caught the attention of policymakers. It called on the State Council, or China's cabinet to provide 16 billion yuan in subsidies every year to 26 million students in 680 counties and cities across the country in their years of compulsory education. Above two cases are examples of public welfare communications in social media in recent years. Public welfare or social welfare, originates from the ancient word “fare well”, which means to go or be well. Nowadays, it is more frequently used in a narrow sense to refer to charitable activities or to non-profit social programs for some specific groups (James Midgley, 1997). Public welfare communications is the non-profit communication activities which aim at realizing public interests by focusing on, understanding, supporting, participating in and pushing forward public welfare actions, so as to promote cultural development and social progress. The communication activities include public service advertising, public welfare news, public welfare websites, public welfare activities, public welfare projects, charitable donations, etc. (Ma & Zhang, 2005). In a relatively long period, traditional mass media including newspaper, radio, and television dominated the communications of public welfare issues (Guo, 2013). However, the rise of social media gradually shifts the landscape with their greater influence. Social media is a new online media that gives users the great interactive space to share most (Mayfield, 2007). Nowadays, it is not only used by individuals to share opinions, ideas and experience, but also adopted by non-profit organizations and philanthropic events to communicate with the public. Promoting public welfare issues in social media in China has just begun three years ago, in line with the rise of microblogs, while it has existed for almost ten years in developed countries begin with charitable organizations adopting Facebook and Twitter in fundraising (Liu, 2012). Since the advent of social media, public welfare and charity gradually become activities within everyone’s reach (Zhou, 2012). "Social media networks have given full play to their unique advantages in online services and products to effectively call upon millions of faithful netizens to join in social good programs, bringing China's public welfare cause to a new stage," said Li Yuxiao, vice chief-editor of...
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