Topics: Mass media, China, People's Republic of China Pages: 7 (2504 words) Published: February 3, 2013
The People's Republic of China has suffered from widespread corruption for many years. For 2012, China was ranked 80th out of 178 countries in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index, ranking below the most of developed countries. This severe problem has become the target of public criticism. The 2002 Mainland China national survey, a part of the Asian Barometer Survey I, indicated that almost half of people view corruption in government as a common and serious problem. Then what are the determinants of corruption? According to (Jain, 2001), in general, there are three types of determinants. The first one is related to internal mechanisms and encouragements within the government in managing corruption. The second type concentrates on the external mechanism in inspecting corruption, such as the specific and independent organization for anti-corruption. The last branch suggested that the corruption could be explained by some indirectly factors, such as culture. Therefore, according to this categorization, a free media should be an external mechanism for controlling corruption. That is, the freedom of Mass media is normally viewed as significant human rights and powerful controls against corruption of government. “An independent press is probably one of the most effective institutions to uncover trespassing by government officials. The reason is that any independent journalist has a strong incentive to investigate and uncover stories on wrongdoing. Countries with a free press should, therefore, ceteris paribus, have less corruption than countries where the press is controlled and censored.” Unfortunately, the role of Media in China is really specific. The relationship between the Chinese news media and the Chinese government is diametrically opposite of that between the media and the government in democratic societies, such as America. “Against a backdrop of rapid socio-economic change and modernization, China continues to be an authoritarian one-party state that imposes sharp curbs on freedom of expression, association, and religion; openly rejects judicial independence and press freedom; and arbitrarily restricts and suppresses human rights defenders and organizations, often through extra-judicial measures.” In modern democracies, the media perform the function of a social watchdog. Government policy, the personal integrity of government officials and foreign relations are all objects of critical debate by the media. However, Chinese government exercise strict control over public opinion and set numerous limitations for the media to restrict freedom of journalists. According to the reported published by Committee to Protect Journalist, an independent nonprofit organization based in New York City that promotes press freedom and defends the rights of journalists, between 1998 and 2002 there are 115 Chinese journalists were arrested on charges suggesting a state frame-up and reporting the unrest in minority areas, the largest number anywhere in the world. Generally speaking, there are two major unique characteristics of Media in China. On one hand, the censorship of Media in China is really rigid. Government exerts its power to control news sources and to prevent ordinary people from providing sensitive information to both domestic and foreign media. For example, the Nandan municipal government made every effort to impose a news blackout and ordered physical assaults on anyone who spoke to a journalist after the mining accident on July 17, 2001 that killed 81 people. When three major local media dispatched reporters to cover the story ten days after the accident, local government officials slammed doors in their faces and warn them to keep silence. On the other hand, the majority of media in China are owned by government. Put another way, Chinese media are not independent organization. In democratic countries, the news media industry has independent legal status so that the boss of the media...
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