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									    The Media in the
People's Republic of China
When Chairman Mao led the communist revolution in China ..




he controlled the media in order to get the Communist Party's
message to the people and prevent media outlets becoming a
means for opposition and dissent.

His successors have continued this approach.

However there has been some loosening of control in recent years,
though this has been more about allowing newspapers and
television to earn income rather than allowing them to lead political
opposition.
Under Hu Jintao the media is still monitored
and to a large extent controlled by the state ..



There is heavy state control with many of the largest media organisations
being agencies of the Chinese government

 e.g. Chinese Central TV (CCTV) and The People’s Daily (the CPC newspaper)


There are red lines editors and journalists do not cross

 e.g. such as challenging the right of the Communist Party to control the state



However, within these boundaries there is increasingly open discussion
of social issues and policies. In some cases, there is even some criticism
of the CPC.
                      Diversity within the media..

There is a surprising amount of diversity within the Chinese media. With This
growing role of the market in China most state media organisations no longer
receive govt subsidies and must now survive through commercial advertising.

Of course, as a communist state, the government has rules on what may and
may not be published. On the other hand, within these rules state media
outlets must compete for viewers and advertising. They need to attract
viewers and can no longer simply be boring mouthpieces of the govt.

Moreover, the danger of going bankrupt has recently caused some
newspapers and other media outlets to become bolder on social issues and
even risk some criticism of the government in the hope of attracting more
readers and so raising advertising revenue.
The Chinese government puts a lot of effort into trying to control the media and
given the huge size of the country, it largely succeeds. However, the ever
more complex new media is making it more and more difficult. For example …

    • Mobile phones and text messaging - enable rapid exchange of info

    • Cable and satellite TV - spread rapidly since 90s – now over 3000
      stations - many not licensed by govt so difficult to control

    • Outside stations from Hong Kong and abroad increasingly available –
      now to hundreds of millions of homes

    • Internet access is available to millions - On the other hand, it is more
      controlled than in the west (e.g. recent example of Google threatening
      to close down its China operation because of interference from the govt
      and the hacking of google accounts held by of govt critics).
                        Some weakening of control ..

The Chinese govt retains a lot of control over the country’s media. However there
has been some weakening of this for a number of reasons ...

• complexity of the new media

• competition from media outlets in Hong Kong and elsewhere have forced Chinese
  outlets to become more individual and encouraged them to try loosen control

• govt resources have become more thinly spread – has allowed the growth of local
  and regional media less controlled by the party

• Party officials are now less ‘hands-on’ – don’t censor content as closely as before

• closer contact with the west may be influencing urban people towards concepts
  of a free press and uncensored internet access – though early days yet

								
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