Song Qi

Song Qi

Participant in 2014
Work history Journalist in United Daily News in Taiwan. Visiting Scholar at Macquarie University in Australia and Massey University in New Zealand. Staff at Communication University of China
Study history Bachelor's degree on Journalism, Shandong University;
Master's degree on Communication, Communication University of China;

Phd Projects

2014

New Media and Democratization in China: a County’s Perspective

Over the past 35 years, The People’s Republic of China (P.R.C.) has experienced enormous political and social changes, transforming from totalitarianism to post-totalitarianism, and is still undergoing the nonlinear but yet unstoppable democratization. Media plays an important role during this progress as the liberation power to the established political system and social values. Marketization brings in more media organizations and decentralizes the whole industry to some extent, but the breakdown of state monopolies on media and public sphere has only become possible after the birth of new media, including online news, social media and mobile internet, through which a citizen can easily gain access to public expression for the first time. Unlike all traditional media like newspapers, TV channels and magazines, most influential new media companies are private-owned, thus imply a quite different way of functioning and content producing compared with “mouthpiece”, a definition to media given by Communist Party of China. Some of them are overseas listed companies and have gained international reputation, like Wechat from Tencent and Weibo from Sina. They gradually become the battlefield among capital, political power and the public, and an accelerator of the democratization in P.R.C. in the last decade. Taken into consideration factors as state control, media consumption habit transformation, technical feasibility and financial condition, a real democratized media to appear in the future will largely be new media rather than in traditional format.

The diversity of China, born with its huge population, vast territory and other factors, also exists in democratization. Hardly a citizen in the county face up to the same information environment with those in big cities, and media would play different roles respectively. Beijing, Shanghai and other metropolises usually attract most of the academic attention and news coverage, but the county, on the other hand, is generally regarded as the basic unit in local governance and the most important structure of local community economically, politically and culturally. This research will examine new media’s role of democratization in a Chinese county, include: the effects to the formation of public sphere; the regulation and capital’s control; and how to foster democracy through new media. Methods implied include content analysis, in-depth interview and literature review.

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