It’s My Dear Country, But Why Going Back?

28 Dec

There is one question that I’ve been asked by my classmates for a thousand of times: will you go back to China after graduation?

There is a short-term and a long-term answer.

The short-term one goes like I will firstly try to find a job here in Britain no matter how tough the condition is for journalism students.

The long-term one says even if I find a job here, I will eventually go back to China, for it is my country.

Ugliness in their eyes

There are some changes about my father that I detected shortly before and after I came to England to learn to be a journalist.

He was keeping persuading me to gain a British citizenship.

My cousin successfully got the Canadian green card earlier this year, which is probably why the thought was generated in my father’s mind.

But this is just a trigger.

His deep reason is that there are too many ugly scenes being played in the contemporary Chinese society, which can easily grab a genuine man’s hope and ability of living.

Corruption, back stage trade, extreme pragmatism…he is losing hope for this country due to what he saw as a businessman for almost ten years.

He was born in the 60s, which should have brought to its generation some traces of idealism.

And indeed my father used to be loving literature and writing. He has even been a teacher of Chinese.

He has now, unfortunately, turned to be very cynical.

The answer is no

My father discussed with me about the same old topic again when we talked on the phone last week.

My answer is still no.

The difficult of finding a job here is part of the reason.

It is even more difficult for a foreign student to stay in the UK since the British government is planning to cancel the Post Study Work visa, which used to give students a favour to look for a job within two years’ time.

The set rise of  VAT to 20% on 4 January 2011 also puts more weight on our burden.

But more importantly, I cannot live in a country where you can hardly obtain the sense of belonging.

Your root is with your home country. This is something deeply planted in your identity. This is something you cannot get rid of no matter how many China Towns you have in a foreign country.

Not to mention there is still the prejudice and even discrimination, conscious or unconcious, visible or invisible, in every domain of the country where I currently study in.

Another reason that I choose to go back eventually is that given those ugly scenes that my father has seen, there is still some hope of changing the status quo.

Hope can only be realised by actions. If nobody actually prove there are still something to do to make China a better place, hope will fade away.

Although it may take some time.

 

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If 2022 World Cup Were Held in January

21 Dec

If the World Cup is not held in the summer time of the north hemisphere, it will be a brand new experience for clubs, footballers and fans.

After Qatar won the 2022 bid, plans of moving the World Cup tournament to winter have been heard.

Now they are endorsed by FIFPro, the world’s footballers’ union, who requires to change the World Cup timing in order to avoid the heat wave of summer in Qatar.

It sounds like a humane plan to footballers, but is it really feasible?

Huge disturb in the winter break

If the 2022 World Cup took place in January, most clubs of European leagues would suffer.

Football leagues in Italy, Germany, France, Spain all have their winter breaks for players to restore their energy for spring.

The Premier League in England though, does not have a winter break. Normally during the Christmas slot, matches are even more intense.

This has been very controversial as football managers in England think their players need a break in winter.

If the 2022 World Cup were held in January, a problem will be posed to FIFA and all football associations in Europe: whether to postpone the league or not.

If they postpone the leagues, the whole time slot of European will be disturbed.

Leagues and Champions League matches will be finished later, which means the summer break will be influenced as well.

If not, the interest of clubs who own many internationals, such as Chelsea and Barcelona, can hardly be guaranteed, as their top players will then be in Qatar playing for their nations.

Similar collisions have already been witnessed when the Africa Cup of Nations takes place every two years.

Teams like Chelsea, whose squads include many African internationals have been hardly in a honeymoon with FIFA.

Either way, top players will not get enough rest before summer.

Lost in Venice: The Tourist

15 Dec
The Tourist trailor

It is hard to believe one single movie can include two of the most charming human beings on this planet. ‘s The Tourist (2010) did it by presenting Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp together.

But beautiful faces are not equivalent to a good movie.

The effect of superstars

Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp are arguably the two most successful Hollywood movie stars. Separately, each of their name can almost guarantee enough eyeballs.

Not to mention that this time they are put together in the same movie.

Once again, Jolie’s dangerous beauty is fully showed by her character set as an woman agent, which makes people easily remember her performance in Tomb Raider and Salt.

Her stunning beauty is woven with elegance, which is reflected by luxury hotels, shining jewelleries and most importantly, her smile, combining mystery and contempt.

Johnny Depp, who plays as an American tourist (Frank Tupelo) to Venice in this movie, finally shows his elegant side.

But his wickedness can still remind you of the famous Captain Jack Sparrow.

Both of the two stars maintain their performing legacy from their previous movies. Audiences who are familiar with their previous characters can have a certain degree of control, as the two stars do not go very far from images that make them famous.

Angelina and Johnny the tour guides

The story mainly takes place in Venice, although Paris and London are also mentioned by clearly are put at less important positions.

The story almost turns into a publicity material when Elise Clifton-Ward (Jolie) arrives in Venice.

A lot of panoramas are used to predict the view of Venice.

Together with romantic music, the luxury hotel (Hotel Danieli) is displayed as a must-go place for lovers (with enough money).

Publicity scenes are so obvious that they may even lift audiences up from the tension in the movie.

Jolie almost becomes a tour guide in Venice as the camera follows her throughout the city and she talks some nonsense that is not even helpful to push the plot.

Scenes depicting the romantic complex between Elisa (Jolie) and Frank (Depp) has literally made me sleepy even on the not-so-comfortable seat in the cinema.

Thanks to the two stars, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, the director, may enjoy a different type of success.

This one may be a hit for box office, but may never reach as high as the Oscar winning The Lives of Others (2006).

It is a must-see movie for fans of Jolie and Depp or both of them, but it is a disappointing movie for those who expect more on the director and on the story.

My rating of this movie: 5.0/10
IMDB rating: 6.0/10

 

 

 

Why Messi but not Sneijder?

9 Dec

This year’s Ballon D’or candidates are bizarre.

Absolutely no surprise about Xavi and Iniesta, as they both played well in the past year, especially during the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

But Why Messi, again?

Wesley Sneijder seems to be a more reasonable choice for the final three candidates.

According to the tradition of Ballon D’or, both individual and team performances are two of the most important criteria of deciding who is the winner.

Champion’s League

Sneijder won last season’s Champion’s League with Inter. Being the tactical core of Jose Mourinho, the versatile Dutch is everywhere on the pitch.

Inter’s Argentinian striker Diego Milito should probably thank Sneijer for his assists (6, ESPN). Without Sneijder, maybe he would still be a critical player in Inter, he would never be so phenomenal (6 goals, 2 assists, ESPN) at the attacking line.

Wesley Sneijder 2010

Leo Messi?

Eight (ESPN) goals top the Champion’s League 09/10. Sparkling performance truly if judging as an individual. Assists? Zero.

But his team, Barcelona was blocked exactly by Sneijder’s Inter in the semi-finals.

The FIFA Word Cup

The whole world remembers Spain’s victory, declaring the revival of artistic football against the backdrop that defense wins all.

If Arjen Robben could nail the one on one chance against Iker Casillas in the Final, the candidates for Ballon D’or might have been largely different now. Sadly there is no “if” within football.

But this cannot conceal what Sneijder did in South Africa. Without him being one of the few inspirations of attacking in van Marwijk’s team, the Orange could have been terminated by Brazil in the kick-out.

In terms of Messi, it seems that he left all his lucks of goal at Barcelona. Apparently the winner of last time’s Ballon D’or and FIFA MVP was not born for his country, not like Diego Maradona.

So how come it is Messi again but not Sneijder?

The chosen one

Maybe except for fans of Real Madrid, everyone loves Messi, the one in Barcelona, where he can puts the ball into the net just as normally as walking and eating.

Especially after he “copied” Maladona’s stunning goal on the 1986 World Cup against England, Messi was crowned by the media and fans as the next king of soccer.

  Messi vs Maradona

So under the backdrop that Iniesta and Xavi can almost confirm the first and second places, why not put Messi as another candidate?

A, he seems to be more like a superstar than Sneijder, who looks more like someone from the working class. More fans will be attacted.

B, If put Messi on rather than Sneijder, an astonishingly rare thing will happen: three players from the same club occupy the first three positions of Ballon D’or. Hala La Masia!

C, This year’s Ballon D’or is for the first time combined with the FIFA MVP. FIFA is about football but is never just football. It is politics, it is exchanges of interests. Anything weird can happen with this governing organisation, whose supervising body does not even exist yet.

Two sides of the same coin*

8 Dec

The coin is spinning. Randomly some patterns of the two sides show within a blink of eyes, but they cannot be clearly seen.

Speaking of student demonstrations, images of France in 1968 and Beijing in 1989 frequently come up, although they are more likely to be mentioned as riots, for violence is the keyword.

The demonstration in London on 24 November shares with previous student movements those violent factors.

But like a spinning coin, what makes it bear a mixed impression is the other looming yet recognisable side – the carnivalesque atmosphere.

A carnival of resistance

Posters can be found at many places around University of London Union (ULU), the starting point of the demonstration.

With a catchy bright yellow banner, they read, “ULU brings you a carnival of resistance.”

Colourful masks and a clown, which are also on posters, suggest that the demonstration is supposed to be cheerful.

The demonstration follows the prototype described on the posters, as students start to gather with excitement and joy on their faces.

They greet and talk to each other with smiles even if they have never seen each other before. The same event puts them together as friends.

The atmosphere is heated up by pop music and strong drumbeats. Students are nodding heads and waving their hands according to the rhythm.

Apparently they have not forgotten the resistance part of the carnival. As they gather, they start to show their anger by shouting slogans.

“No ifs, no buts, no education cuts!” They shout, briefly in words and loudly in voice.

The pattern of violence looms, yet the spinning coin quickly blurs it by bringing some string music.

An old man stands besides the crowd, playing the violin and tapping his foot with the rhythm.

Ed Emery, who is 65 years old, is now in his first year of PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies.

The sound generated by students sometimes overwhelms that of Ed’s strings, but the old man seems far from being upset about that fact.

“I play my tone while students are shouting their tone,” He says with a serene smile. “It all comes together.”

“I support the students. I want to help them to prevent the government from destroying the university.” Ed is blunt about his stance on the education cuts issue, reminding people of the fact that he himself is a student as well.

If the story ends here, this glance of the demonstration seems to be a nice party where everyone enjoys their indulgence factors.

Violence, the other side of the coin

"Edward Scissorhands"

As the spinning coin slows down, both sides of it can be seen more clearly.

The march to Trafalgar Square is still surrounded by a carnivalesque atmosphere.

How often can you see Edward Scissorhands on the street? The curly and a bit messy hair, the pale face, the scarlet lips, the neat shirt, and of course the scissorhands, are always ready to arouse some screams.

People who follow protesters have the chance to meet the famous character from Tim Burton’s movie, on the street.

The switch then comes as the carnivalesque exterior starts to fade away when students are blocked by the police in Whitehall.

Tension rises quickly at the confronting line, as the police intend to halt the wave while students want to break through.

The unstable balance is not broken until the trigger comes, when some students smash the glass of a bus shelter.

Chaos is aroused as students let off their anger by swinging an abandoned police van and throwing sticks and bottles…

A student with his face veiled jumps onto the top of the van and hail his fellows beneath like a newly crowned king…

The image of the demonstration is blurred again, with anarchy rising and helicopters roaring, together with music still playing and students dancing.

The coin is still spinning. Even though it has slowed down and patterns of both sides are better shown, it is still spinning.

Carnival or violence? It is hard to tell the true face of the demonstration. Both faces are merged together.

Both of the sides can be clearly seen only when the spinning stops, but will it?

*The previous version was posted on 25 November.

The Telegraph trip: My impression

5 Dec


Thanks to my course at the University of Westminster, I had my first touch on a real newsroom of a British media, as we paid a visit to the Telegraph.

A few days after that visit I was still a little disappointed as I had expected more than that. But as a first visit to a real newsroom, that trip still remains very eye-opening and to some degree, exciting.

First impression

First impression is crucially important as it tends to remain in one’s mind for a long time.

  • The “Newspaper of the Year” of the UK has a very humble appearance from outside. Stepping out of the Victoria Station , you can even miss its building if you do not know the exact address – 111 Buckingham Palace Street. Unlike the BBC, The Telegraph has no such a logo hanging outside the building. If you are not expecting for a newspaper quarter, you may find it like a random front door of a hotel – a not very expensive one.

    In the lobby of The Telegraph

  • The security is impressive. Visitors will be checked name by name and previous registration seems necessary. A random visitor is not likely to get in.
  • The lobby resembles a shopping mall in every aspect – warm lighting, cosy sofas, a high ceiling and huge glass windows. We can finally spot logos of the Telegraph – the specially designed “T”. Again, if you want to enter the heart part of the newspaper, you need to pass another security check.
  • The most impressive decoration in the lobby is a decorating pattern made up by a lot of faces, which belong to those world’s most recognisable images, including former French President Jacques Chirac, Venezuela President Hugo Chavez and the American movie star Tom Hanks.

The company culture

The company culture is a quite complicated conception while it can also be really simple.

The big newsroom of The Telegraph

  • As a news organisation the inner decoration of Telegraph is no different from other modern companies. It has simple but comfortable design style, with its company culture being reflected on the wall – mottoes related to journalism in several languages. Sadly as I Chinese people I did not find a motto in Chinese.
  • The Telegraph is quite generous as a media. Not only they let all over 40of us in, but also that day’s paper and tea and biscuits were provided free. It could be explained as “it is a big media oranisation whose generosity is obviously assumed”. Still, it makes people comfortable.
  • We listened to a lecture by their Compliance Officer – a lecture which is a little too long and exhausting but interesting enough.
  • As a media group, they are very cautious. Any unnecessary problems were to be avoided. We were asked not to name the lecturer in our blog and anything that could be controversial was required to be excluded.

A newsroom walk-through

The most exciting part of this trip was walking through the newsroom of the Telegraph.

  • For a newbie in journalism who rarely go into a newsroom, the panorama of the Telegraph newsroom was amazing. You just cannot help clicking with your camera. Visitors are firstly only allowed to take pictures on a higher floor through a glass, which makes me feel in a zoo. I really wonder how those professionals down there can bear such a feeling of being watched. Maybe they have just got used to it as part of their job.

    The very first version of Telegraph

  • The time we went there was in the morning, hence it was not the most intense time for a newsroom. At least half of the seats in the main hall were empty.
  • Then we went down to the newsroom. I could not help holding my breath when getting closer to people who were working there. The feeling was rather mixed. On the one hand you wanted to get as close as you can to the working atmosphere, on the other hand you realised that you were still an outsider and you should keep some distance.
  • The surprise came when we see the very first version of The Telegraph. You could tell the age just by the paper which had turned yellow. A newsroom that respects its history and legacy will benefit from the time it passes.

England: See World Cup in 2030, maybe

2 Dec

I almost composed my article for the result of the 2018 bid as “Modern Football Back Home”, and I believe many media in England had the same idea.

However that type of title never turns up as England lost the 2018 World Cup host to Russia, gaining only two votes at the first round. The next chance for England to host the World Cup will be in 2030, when the world sporting event will go back to Europe.

Massive disappointment across England

Fans of football in England are so disappointed that they almost lost the bid which they think was already in their pocket before the bid was announced, as the England seemed to be enjoying several reasons to believe that it will win.

“After all the politiking, millions of pounds and bringing in the big-guns for the England 2018 bid , we manage TWO votes out of 22! Shocking!” Said a fan named 2yyiam on Twitter.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter announcing the 2018 bid result

Not only general fans, several big names have also joined the team of disappointment.

Prince William, as a member of the bidding team and one of the presenters for England at Zurich today, says, “I’m very disappointed, as are the rest of the team.”

The BBC also reveals that British Prime Minister David Cameron shares his feeling after being defeated, by saying, “I think, according to Fifa, we had the best technical bid, the best commercial bid. No-one could identify any risks coming to England. But it turns out that’s not enough.”

Skepticism on FIFA rises

After the disappointing result was announced by the existing president of FIFA Sepp Blatter, the world football governing body becomes the target to blame at once.

Skepticism on FIFA spreads among demoralised fans.

“FIFA is just a joke.” Says a fan who talks on BBC 5’s evening programme.

Another fan on Radio 5’s programme Phil claims that FIFA is not assessing what they are supposed to assess concerning a World Cup host candidate, by saying, “We have all stadiums here, but they are not interested in it. ”

A fan called Rogan says that FIFA has not considered the football culture  that England boasts and that “we have the enthusiasm even before the FIFA was born”.

FIFA under fire after England lost the bid

England 2018 bid chief executive Andy Anson is far from satisfied as England did not even get across the first hurdle, saying that it is “pretty disheartening”, according to the BBC.

He has also criticised FIFA’s decision of announcing two bid results at the same time, saying, “It inevitably led to people with votes in 2018 doing deals with people involved in 2022.”

The media influence

As FIFA has become the largest target of disappointed England fans, the media seems to be less blamed than they were earlier this week after the BBC documentary revealing corruption in FIFA was released on Monday.

Several fans on BBC Radio 5’s evening programme said that it was not all the media’s fault as England lost the bid.

However some fans still believe that it is the media who have at least negatively impacted England’s bid.

“They are irresponsible,” said a fan named Phil. “They can write whatever they want. The timing wasn’t right. “

Five Reasons to Believe England Will Win 2018 Bid

2 Dec

There is no such a place like England who is so passionate – nearly impatient  – about holding the FIFA World Cup, again. English people have been waiting for too long a time.

The final result for the 2018 World Cup bid is planned to be announced at 1500 GMT on 2 December at Zurich.

Being nervous is not a shame. But there are more reasons to be confident instead.

No. 1 Economy

This is a word everybody in Europe is trying to avoid during a time of austerity, as each bite of it feels like a needle punching on the skin.

Yet this is the topic that FIFA, the world football governing body can hardly ignore when assessing candidates for the World Cup.

Indeed England is not immune from the recession, as the British government tries to lift the country from economic difficulty by promoting spending cuts plans.

But neither do other candidates escape from it.

Netherlands-Belgium, Russia and Spain-Portugal are also suffering from the global economic depression which triggered by the financial crisis in 2007.

Therefore to this point, all candidates seem to be at similar levels.

England may enjoy a bit of advantage concerning revenue generation, as it is the only country that is assumed to fully meet FIFA’s revenue target.

According to The Sun, an economic report indicates that England is the only candidate that can strike 100 percent of revenue in all five categories: ticketing, media rights, licensing, hospitality and sponsorship, with Spain-Portugal at 91 percent, Holland-Belgium at 87 percent and Russia at 86 percent.

No. 2 The effect of 2012 Olympic Games

Never ever underestimate the effect of the Olympic Games, as it not only brings billions of pounds of revenue, but also bears the chance of boosting the credibility of the host country.

In terms of infrastructure, London has done much for its 2012 hospitality concerning public transport, information technology and communication, stadiums and security.

London will be considered as an epitome of England’s capability of holding a world-level sporting event.

The last time people see Russia and Spain hold a sporting event equivalent to World Cup can date back to the 1980 and 1992 Olympic Games. Russia was still a member of the Soviet Union, while Spain has not even entered the euro zone.

Holland and Belgium used to cooperate in the 2000 European Cup, which is ten years ago.

No. 3 The football culture

As the birthplace of modern football, England boasts the best football atmosphere in Europe.

It is not surprising to see a family of football fans in England, not to mention a small local football team can also have thousands of supporters who will attend their team’s matches regardless of any extreme weathers.

The Premier League is one of the most successful football leagues in the world, with Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool as the “Big Four” boasting worldwide popularity.

The deep football culture also leaves England well-prepared modern stadiums and affiliated facilities, which have already experienced tests of big events.

No. 4 The star effect

The England 2018 bidding team is all-star. Listen to these names: David Beckham, Alan Shearer, David Cameron, Prince William…Each of them can easily occupy people’s attention. Now they are working as a team.

Well-recognised images can of course not guarantee a win, but it can surely reflect the passion of a country for the World Cup and attract enough media exposure.

The BBC could help England win the 2018 World Cup

Russia may suffer from the stand-back of its Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, as he recently declared that the 2018 bidding is “unscrupulous competition”.

No. 5 BBC Documentary

BBC is under severe criticism after it released a documentary about the bidding scandal of FIFA on its Panorama programme on Monday.

Angry Fans and officials are saying that BBC’s bad timing of putting the documentary on air may ruin England’s 2018 bid by pointing the fire straight at members of the committee.

However this controversial move can also help England to win the bid, as it may reflect a country’s integrity and its attitude towards corruption.

Chinese media: Enemy’s enemy is my friend

1 Dec

During a war sometimes you do not have many choices. You must optimize your chance to win. Enemy’s enemy is your friend.

The same relationship is experienced by Chinese media confronting with the Internet and the government. They tend to choose the Internet as their ally against the government, even though this ally may sometimes bite them as well.

Internet as a friend with adversity

In a place like China where the free flow of information is a rather luxury, any sign of hope is worth making effort to.

The early 2000s has witnessed the boom of the Internet in China, as well as the start of skyrocketing of Chinese online news, which later proved to be a doom for Chinese media on traditional platforms, especially for the Chinese print media.

Till today Chinese traditional media are still undergoing a complicated relationship with the Internet.

On the one hand they need to fully embrace it as a new platform which is welcomed by their readers; one the other hand they need to keep an eye on it as the Internet is also sabotaging their readership or viewship.

Enemy’s enemy

The Chinese government by no means sees the Internet as a friend.

Concerning the social stability in China, the government has set up the Great Firewall (GFW) to prevent Chinese Internet users from accessing “vicious” foreign websites such as Youtube and Twitter.

A slightly exaggerating explanation of the GFW

Online content in the Chinese Internet context is also under the scrutiny of the authority. Any content that is considered as unfavourable will be “harmonised” and kept out of the public sight.

The Chinese Web browsers, the real power behind the Internet, bear the large possibility of being irritated by the government due to the lack of free flow of information. Some activists have already managed to get over the GFW to see the “outside world”.

Internet as the leverage for free flow of information

Chinese media, have been kept their noses up and therefore been rather sensitive about the current of power rushing forward and back underneath the peaceful sea surface.

They now tend to mingle with the Internet as an important platform to release their news products, as well as a crucial leverage to keep the game on with the government.

By utilising the Internet, the Chinese media hope to see a more open environment for information to be cultivated in China.

As pointed out the Hu Shuli at the Reuters Memorial Lecture, although Internet seems to be dangerous for Chinese people concerning the risk of annoying the government, “it is helping China to grow”.

She also treats the relationship of Chinese government ant the media as “a game of cat and mouse”.

In this game, she said, “The mouse is smarter with modern technologies. While the cat needs to learn what will happen.”

The manipulation over news is possibly to be broken by the Internet as well, as empowered by the Internet, Chinese people can get access to any information (some may need a little technology to get over the GFW).

In the era of the Internet, according to Hu Shuli, “it is hard to fool people”.


Hu Shuli optimistic about Chinese media’s transition

30 Nov

China as the world’s biggest developing country, is facing a transiting phase. So are its media.

Where will Chinese media heading? People both from China and the rest of the world turn to the crystal ball for an answer.

Ms. Hu Shuli, editor of Caixin and a noble journalist, joins the team of fortune tellers,  saying that the Chinese media will face a bright future transiting “from an old one to a modernised and democratic one”, at the Reuters Memorial Lecture at Oxford on Monday.

Pressure from the government

It has almost become a cliche that in China, the government imposes a significant influence on its media.

Oh did I say “its”? Yes, the Chinese government has been making it’s effort to make meida as its mouthpiece for political propaganda.

Ms. Hu Shuli at Reuters Memorial Lecture at Oxford University

According to Yuezhi Zhao, this is due to the military origin of Chinese media. During the Long March in the 1930s, the Chinese Red Army used to utilise its official publication – The Red Star – to execute wartime propaganda.

This has created a mindset for Chinese government: the media should be controlled rather than liberated, as its power may harm the government itself.

It is true that the impact of the government has been mentioned by many scholars on this topic. Yet it is indeed a very important dimension of the Chinese media landscape.

Rather than being fairly upset about this objective condition, Ms. Hu Shuli seemed to be quite confident about Chinese media.

She did not deny the existence of the government’s impact on the media output. Actually she was very blunt about sensitive issues that media in China should not even touch, such as Falun Gong, Tian’anmen Square and Liu Xiaobo, a new name added to the list recently.

Ms. Hu Shuli has kept emphasizing that there is the hope for Chinese media to do a better job the the democratic progress of the country. Talking about her own Caixin, the sentence she has repeated for many times during the lecture and the panel discussion is “we will try our best”.

She treats the media-government relation in China as “a game of cat and mouse”. Although she thinks that there is no simple answer to questions about the government censorship over news, she believes Chinese media can still survive, by saying, “There is always a way to go. It’s always one step up, one step back.”

Pressure from the market

The media is never actually independent. Maybe it used to be like that in the very early days, but after people realised its amazing power and intended to get involved, the very pure days for media were over.

Apart from the influence from the government, today’s Chinese media also have to face the commercial impact.

As China is experiencing a serious transition, economic factors will play even a more important role in almost each domain, including media.

Panel discussion after the lecture

On the one hand, if the media are healthily sponsored by a company, it will enjoy more power to insert quality journalism.

On the other hand, the sponsor may also try to influence the media output in the consideration of its own profit.

Journalistic integrity and financial support are actually put on the same balance and weighed. For Chinese media, it is actually a severe problem of life or death.

Even Ms. Hu Shuli admitted that the commercial pressure is one of the “enemies” that Caixin now faces when trying to achieve genuine journalism in China, yet it is still “common”.

“‘Soft news’ is actually dangerous, ” She said, “They are paid news. But what’s more dangerous is fully manipulated news.”

It seems that to her, the government’s influence is still a bigger problem than the commercial pressure.

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