Media in China
The media in the People’s Republic of China is known for being heavily monitored by the government. Social issues and open discussions are highly controlled by the government’s regulatory agencies. There are currently four agencies, which regulate all types of media and communication. Any diversity between broadcasting stations after censorship is due to competition through advertisement. Government funding does not cover most broadcasting; therefore companies are focused to gain their own profits by attracting viewers or selling products.
Although censorship has remained strong through the years, it is becoming ineffective through new mobile communication methods such as text messaging. These methods are extremely hard to regulate due to speed and size. Newspapers have begun to show more involvement in political headlines, but still lack depth when speaking about the issues at hand.
Due to China’s rapid expansion, the use of the Internet is only increasing. The vast amount of information with ease of accessibility is opening new independent doors to Chinese citizens. Currently, 250 million Chinese citizens have Internet access. Beginning in 1996, all Internet service provider applications were not allowed to update programs or applications. The Internet still remains under control of one of the four regulatory agencies. The agency attempted to place firewalls on their networks, but due to size, they seemed to be ineffective. The current firewall of China blocks sites and even chat sessions, but can be easily rerouted by the use of proxies.
China currently has two media outlets that control the news, The Chinese News Network and the People’s Daily. Any positions of these outlets are appointed by the Propaganda Department. Due to decreased funding of the media outlets, the media networks have not been able to hire journalists from top universities, leaving a decreased quality in reporting and articles. Currently, China is ranked on a “very serious” media presentation level, meaning that much of the information given to the public is extremely censored.
Outside sources have been monitoring the situation and fear riots may break out in the future. With the increasing use of radio and the Internet, the possibilities of media coverage are increasing for Chinese citizens. The idea of control for the Communist party through censorship may have to be rethought according to some critics and outside officials.
Internet in China
Google is a company that focuses on providing information for Internet users. Their searching services are is used all around the world. While Google has been criticized for using others information, intellectual property, censorship, and search manipulation, it is still one of the most widely used search engines today, with no other close contenders. Users are often able to search any number of topics with thousands of instant results.
Google in China
Up until 2010, Google was in strict relations with China and its “firewall.” Chinese users were censored from many searches and only those allowed by the government were posed as results. Some popular Google searches that were blocked by the government included anything having to do with Tiananmen Square protests, independence of Taiwan and Tibet, and the Falun Gong movement. Google adhered to these requests instead of not posing a presence at all in China. Google notified users that information was blocked, but claimed not give the information about the users to the government. This however was under protest when it was exposed Google did give information to the Chinese government, helping to repress citizens human rights. The Free Media Movement denounced Google from its program after the issue was exposed. Google has also been denounced from other major media organizations in the United States.
End to Censorship
In 2010, Google declared they would no longer be censoring the results of Google.cn for its users. This of course brought forth issues with the Chinese government. Talks with the government were set forth in order to see if Google China would even exist anymore due to its lack of information restraint. After talks with the Chinese failed to reach any sort of agreement, Google paired with Google Hong-Kong, which existed outside the censorship laws.
YouTube is a subsidiary of Google. It is the third most visited website in the world. On October of 2007, YouTube was officially added to the Chinese “firewall.” The blocking was suggested to be similar act to those of preventing Google searches. Citizens of China were being exposed to video of military presence and beatings of Tibetan men in Buddhist monasteries. China has been criticized from keeping these actions from its citizens. Currently, YouTube is not only blocked in China, but 7 other countries around the world.