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胡泳  

胡泳,北京大学新闻与传播学院副教授,博士。价值中国网(www.chinavalue.net)总编辑。中国传播学会常务理事。著有《网络为王》、《众声喧哗》等,译有《数字化生存》、《未来是湿的》等。

北京大学新闻与传播学院副教授,博士。价值中国网(www.chinavalue.net)总编辑。中国传播学会常务理事。著有《网络为王》、《众声喧哗》等,译有《数字化生存》、《未来是湿的》等。

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hu yong: citizen journalism in china (1)  

2011-07-18 15:39:54|  分类: expect |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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()http://yingeli.net/en/2011/07/%EF%BB%BFhu-yong-burgerjournalismus-in-china/   

Hu Yong: Citizen Journalism in China

Posted on July 15, 2011, 11:14, by yingeli, under China, Digital Culture, conference.

This is an excerpt from a longer text Hu Yong has written for the catalog of Ars Electronica 2011. Hu Yong is one of the speakers at the conference “public square squared – how social fabric is weaving a new era”(September 4, 2011), curated by Isaac Mao and David Sasaki (Brucknerhaus Linz).


In China, there exists in actual practice no mechanism in the political decision-making process to take the opinions of private citizens into consideration and to enable these opinions to make an impact. Moreover, the reform of the judicial system is moving ahead at a sluggish pace and the media are subject to state censorship. The upshot of all these factors is that citizen journalists and the opinions they articulate in the public sphere in China have assumed a special and very prominent role. I differentiate among four types of influence citizen journalism is having on Chinese politics and society.

1 Accountability Politics

Since the internet is constrained to a lesser extent by social norms and institutionalized political authority than other media are, the opinion of the citizenry—something that used to keep a low profile—has attained a very high degree of visibility there. And even if most Chinese people can generally be regarded as members of the silent majority, the internet now affords them the opportunity to speak out loud and clear and has brought forth a means of doing so that they regard as appropriate for this medium. An essential point in this regard is that netizens are attempting, within the framework of the constitution and other legal provisions, to make the powers that be answerable for what they do, and, in a society in which government officials have been accorded a highly privileged status, to slowly sow the seeds of political accountability.

When netizens strive to call politicians to account for their misdeeds, they utilize a method that has come to be known as a “human flesh search,” 1 whereby users join together in an online community to conduct research about the event’s background or a person’s biographical details and to post these findings online. In recent years, there have been numerous instances in which government officials have been forced to resign after netizens used this method to expose a scandal.

In October 2008 when Lin Jiaxiang, the party secretary of the Maritime Safety Administration of the City of Shenzhen, was suspected of having sexually molested a little girl, netizens put a video online that showed him arguing with the child’s parents. In the video’s subtitles (the video itself did not originally feature audio), Lin Jiaxiang spoke to the parents in an extremely arrogant way—to the great displeasure of netizens who immediately launched a human flesh search with him as their prey. On November 3, Lin was forced out of all his offices by the Party Secretariat of the Ministry of Transportation and expelled from the party because the statements he made (while inebriated) in public conveyed a horrendously bad image.

In December 2008 in Nanjing, the head of the Jiangning District Housing Construction Authority, Zhou Jiugeng, was dismissed after netizens had published photos showing him at a meeting smoking extremely expensive cigarettes and wearing a Vacheron Constantin watch. On October 10, 2009, a Nanjing court sentenced Zhou to an 11-year prison sentence. The case of Zhou Jiugeng is a textbook example of the role netizens play in the battle against corruption.

In November 2009, reports were posted online indicating that Attorney General Liu Lijie from Arun Banner (qi, meaning county) of Hulunbuir Prefecture in Inner Mongolia (one of the poorest counties in that autonomous region) drove a luxury SUV. She too was later relieved of duty.


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