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The Chinese media after 30 years of reform and open door In the year 1978, China experienced reforms and opened up it gateways for the world around which lead to a considerable change in contemporary Chinese journalism in the last 30 years or so (Li & Liu, 2009)…
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The continuous development in the economic sector has rejuvenated China as an economic powerhouse and made Chinese society accredited with varied new values and diverse trends while forcing the government to adopt some kind of limited decentralization policies and political reforms (Chen, 2007). These trends of liberalization have however been accompanied with constant official efforts to strengthen the political authority over the media and the society (Chen, 2007). Since 1949 till the 1980’s almost all Chinese media was controlled by the state. The inception of private media only occurred with the begining of economic reforms in China. The private media bodies that are functioning within the boundaries of Public Republic of China are no longer required to follow the journalistic guidelines set by the state with the exception of Macao and Hong Kong. Even today the state run media enjoy a significant market share in the industry of mass media. However governmental regulating agencies like General Administration of Press and Publications still enforce strict guidelines on tabooed subjects projected in the media. Regardless of such strict control of state on the mass media and its censorship policies, the Chinese media is experiencing increasing commercialization characterized with growing competition and an emerging trend towards investigative journalism. Subjects of sports, entertainment and finance are less prone to state scrutiny and face little regulation from the authorities (Bennett, 2013). The controls on the media were relaxed on a limited scale in the 1980’s but were once again subjugated in the lieu of Tiananmen Square protest 1989. Attempts to loosen controls were made in the late 90’s under Jiang Zemin but were once again taken back due to the growing influence of internet (Southerland, 2007). Over the last ten years, the reforms made in order to promote decentralization of power by the Chinese Communist Party have initiated autonomy in the field of Media. This has led to the formation of local and regional media bodies. This step has decentralized the party control that is the fact that as far a media agency is from important cities more freedom of functioning can be enjoyed by them. The political authority of China now relies on regulatory mechanisms rather than direct control or over sight on the media agencies. There is a potential rise in the kinds of media coverage that were considered acceptable since the 1990’s. Previously the Ministry of Radio, Film and Television used to monitor any news or program prior to its broadcasting on CCTV (Nahan, 2008)but now the programs are reviewed after they have been aired on television. The year 2008 marked 30 years for China’s reforms and opening up to the rest of the world and the Olympics. China was the second country to host Olympics and brought about 10 billion viewings in only 16 days and 2700 hours of sports coverage leading towards a viewership rate was 59% (International Media Support, the Danish National Commission for UNESCO and Copenhagen Business School, 2008). China also reported that it would stay open to the international media even after the Olympics. The government proposed a series of set of laws at the end of 2006, which advocated that journalists from abroad could carry out interviews in China as long as the consent was provided by the intended interviewees (China View, 2008). ... Read More
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