Social Media in China: The Sina Weibo as the Study Object
Mass media influence and restrict by the social and political, at the same time, the characteristics of the mass media also influence the process of social development. In most of the westen coutries, the media set up their rloe as the ‘watch dog’ for the governemtn, supervision the government and as well as a bridge of communication between government and public. From the Collins English Dictionary, a watchdog is defined as ‘a person or group of persons that acts as a protector or guardian against inefficiency, illegal practices’ . To perform in an investigative manner, the journalist is in the ‘role’ of a watchdog. ‘Watchdog journalism is a state of mind for the whole newspaper: Journalism that gives power to the people.’Hall (2011). For maintain the leadership and reputation of the government, the ‘safety of the contry’ will be an excuse when government tries to hide the truth and informations. In these situations, the funtion of watchdog in media can express in a right way. Such as the famous event, Watergate, which had forced the Nixon out of office in 1974, is a good example for the media as a role of the government’s watchdog. In a country that guarantees freedom of the press, watchdog journalism can be ‘a highly effective mechanism of external control on corruption’ (Brunetti, Weder 2003, p.1804). But the situation in China will be more complicated. For now, the ownership of media still belongs to the Chinese Communist Party. For instance, concerning daily operations, broadcasters are under the jurisdiction of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) within the State Council (national government), while print media organizations come under the jurisdiction of the General Administration of Press and Publication. At one time, People’s Daily, the New China News Agency, and CCTV, the most significant and influential media, they were under control of the Chinese authorities and received government funds and issued reports as instructed(Ken'ichi,2010). The China government remains an immediate supervision body to keep a tight rein on media. A recent survey from a NGO, the freedom house, by analyzed the data from 197 countries on the status of ‘freedom of the press’, China was at the bottom place and the status was identified ‘not free’. Compared to Hong Kong, mainland China may has more restrictions on the freedom of the press. As the development of technology, the low cost of entry online would ensure that everyone would have the opportunity to speak and be heard. The new forms of journalism emergence in the background of the development of network. The traditional media is facing the crisis that because the new form of media is rapidly grown. The way to represent the news not only on traditional media, but also on the internet and the news are not only reported by professional journalist but also ordinary people. Since the social media had been introducing in people’s daily life, users can learn about fast breaking news all over the world from it. The social media is not just a technology tool that enable people to communicate more easily but a place for individuals to express their personal commentaries and share information. Through the Internet and modern communication tools, people can not only get in touch with the outside world, selectively read a large number of network media and information can also be used, such as SMS text messages, tweets network, blog, micro-blog and pass the information to the outside world, upload and download sound and image. Some of the information induce the public effect because the authenticity and timeliness. Such as the earthquake happened China’ Sichuan Province, in 2008, the local residents use the text massage and the internet to communicate with their friend and family, and circular the actual situation to outside world Which let the outside people know the real disaster. It is even faster...
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