[AUDIO] Exploring the limits of Chinese censorship

In this edition of the China Talking Points podcast, Michael and Eric tackle the politically sensitive issue of China’s censorship policies in both the new and traditional media sectors. Just what the Chinese government wants its people to know surfaced again last week when the government banned the word ‘Egypt’ (埃及) from micro-blogging sites and restricted all coverage of the Egyptian uprising to be managed exclusively by the Xinhua news agency.

In a dramatic flashback to an earlier period of Chinese media management, on the very night that former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down from office, the People’s Daily website was among the only major international news outlets that did not mention this monumental event. Instead, the People’s Daily had a front page story celebrated increased Chinese grain production.

The Chinese government’s decision to limit access to news about the instability in North Africa is entirely predictable, however it begs the question as to whether or not the ‘cure is worse than the illness?’ That is, by denying its people access to this information how much will it cripple China’s long term ability to engage a world it increasingly dominates? Already, there are startling large information gaps among many educated Chinese about their country’s international engagement. Continued censorship of these types of events will only worsen that ignorance.

Conversely, Michael argues, the Chinese have been extremely adept at managing their information policies and if/when it is necessary to release the pressure it can do so.

We also discuss the precise measures that the Chinese employ to censor the increasingly large volume of content flowing over the air and through the ether to inform, educate and entertain hundreds of millions of Chinese. Michael explains that it is a complex blend of those famous ‘red pens’ along with the most sophisticated computer monitoring equipment on the market.

Tags: , , , ,

One Response to “[AUDIO] Exploring the limits of Chinese censorship”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by foeassociates, Mr. Sweaty Foreigner. Mr. Sweaty Foreigner said: Chinatalkingpoints.com podcast: "Exploring the limits of Chinese censorship" http://bit.ly/fzwiHt […]

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.