習一日兩會兼顧公平與發展 劃定7年改革路線圖

http://www.nanzao.com/tc/china/35704/xi-yi-ri-liang-hui-jian-gu-gong-ping-yu-fa-zhan-hua-ding-7nian-gai-ge-lu-xian-tu

習一日兩會兼顧公平與發展 劃定7年改革路線圖

習近平表示該規劃對今後7年的改革實施工作作出了整體安排總施工圖總台賬

2014年08月19日 下午4:40

 

(南早中文網訊)內地官方通訊社披露,國家主席習近平昨日(8月18日)接連召開兩場重要會議,部署改革。上午是中央全面深化改革領導小組會議,敲定未來7年的改革路線圖,劍指國企薪酬、考試招生制度等社會公平問題,下午則是中央財經領導小組會議,研究實施創新驅動發展戰略,挖掘經濟新增長動力。

中新社的報道指,這兩次會議兼顧了“分蛋糕”和“做蛋糕”兩大問題,昨天中央深改組第四次會議,體現人們寄望頗多的“頂層設計”功能,會議對央企負責人薪酬、考試招生制度這兩項改革方案的審議,與習近平對公平正義的強調一脈相承。

18日的深改組會議總結了今年上半年改革的進展,并審議通過了《黨的十八屆三中全會重要改革舉措實施規劃(2014-2020年)》。

習近平表示,該規劃對今後7年的改革實施工作作出了整體安排,突出了每項改革舉措的改革路徑、成果形式、時間進度,是“總施工圖”和“總台賬”。

習近平強調,做好下一步工作,關鍵是抓住突出問題和關鍵環節,找出體制機制癥結,拿出解決辦法,重大改革方案制定要確保質量。實施行動要抓到位,掌握節奏和步驟,搞好統籌協調。督促檢查要抓到位,實行項目責任制,分兵把守,守土有責,主動出擊,貼身緊逼。

去年11月12日十八屆三中全會閉幕,會議通過《中共中央關於全面深化改革若干重大問題的決定》,其中列出60項改革任務,有內地媒體統計,截至目前,已經啟動的項目有39個,覆蓋市場經濟、簡政放權、城鎮化、司法改革、文化教育、就業收入、環境保護、軍民關係、黨風廉政等方方面面。

深改組的第一次會議主要完善了領導小組本身的規章和工作制度,今年2月召開的第二次會議,開始有了實質領域的改革方案,6月召開的第三次會議關注財稅體制和戶籍制度改革。

昨天召開的第四次會議,關注的領域仍然為大眾所矚目:央企負責人薪酬制度、考試招生制度、傳統媒體和新興媒體融合等。

習近平在會議上明確要求,逐步規範國企收入分配秩序,對不合理的偏高、過高收入進行調整,除了國家規定的履職待遇和符合財務制度規定標準的業務支出以外,國企負責人沒有其他的“職務消費”,必須堅決根除按職務設置消費定額并量化到個人的做法。

前國務院參事主任、現任國家教育咨詢委員會委員任玉嶺向中新社表示,央企負責人的薪酬目前存在3個方面的不公平,包括行業之間;企業領導和普通員工之間、體制內人員與臨時聘用人員之間;部分國企負責人職務消費鋪張浪費。

任玉嶺認為:“不瞄準、解決這些問題,改革就難以深入”。

對於內地考試招生制度,18日的深改組會議拿出的初步改革方案是:總體目標是形成分類考試、綜合評價、多元錄取的考試招生模式;構建銜接溝通各級各類教育、認可多種學習成果的終身學習立交橋。

任玉嶺指出,目前招生過程中,一些制度沒有建立,造成不少“走後門”、搞關係的現象發生,對職業教育的歧視則是另一個亟待解決的不公平問題。

北京大學教授于長江認為,上述方案基本吸收了過去十多年教育界對考試招生制度的反思批評和探索研究的成果。

他認為,中國現在的問題是,考試標準對紛繁複雜的社會現象照顧不周,往往只代表一種情況,反映學生一方面的素質,所以改革的一個重要思路就是多元化招生。

于長江也談到了對職業教育的歧視。他說,平等看待普通教育和職業教育,不僅是簡單的技術層面問題,還需要深層和價值觀的調整。

深改組會議還審議通過了《關於推動傳統媒體和新興媒體融合發展的指導意見》。

習近平指出,推動傳統媒體和新興媒體融合發展,要強化互聯網思維,著力打造一批形態多樣、手段先進、具有競爭力的新型主流媒體,建成幾家擁有強大實力和傳播力、公信力、影響力的新型媒體集團,形成立體多樣、融合發展的現代傳播體系。

習近平還強調,有一手抓融合,一手抓管理,確保融合發展沿著正確方向推進。

北京大學新聞學教授胡泳向《南華早報》表示,隨著傳統媒體影響力逐漸減弱,中央政府可能加大對新媒體平台的政治和財政支持。

北京外國語大學副教授喬木認為,當局正加強對所有媒體平台的控制,所以新媒體的影響力有限。喬木說,當局仍希望嚴格控制意識形態。倡導發展新媒體不會真正改變媒體行業的性質。

18日下午,習近平主持召開中央財經領導小組第七次會議,研究實施創新驅動發展戰略。

習近平在會議上強調,主導國家發展命運的決定性因素是社會生產力發展和勞動生產率提高,只有不斷推進科技創新,才能實現經濟社會持續健康發展。

他就實施創新驅動發展戰略的基本要求提出4點意見,包括跟蹤全球科技發展方向,有所為有所不為,著力攻克一批關鍵核心技術;大力集聚創新人才,用好科學家、科技人員、企業家,學會招商引資、招人聚財並舉;建立健全機制體制,讓機構、人才、裝置、資金、項目都充分活躍,推進政府科技管理體制改革;全方位加強國際合作,引進來和走出去相結合,積極融入全球創新網絡。

習近平要求,抓緊實施國家重大科技專項,選擇一批體現國家戰略意圖的重大科技項目和重大工程,研究提出中央財政科技資金管理改革方案,研究在一些省區市系統推進全面創新改革試驗。

國家信息中心經濟預測部主任祝寶良認為,中國經濟轉型的核心就是要從要素驅動,轉向創新驅動。目前中國實施創新驅動戰略面臨3個方面的問題:教育、轉化、投資——沒有好的人才、科技轉化仍較多聚焦產能過剩行業、風險投資對創新支持保障不足。

國家發改委產業經濟與技術經濟研究所研究員姜長云特別點出產能過剩的問題。

他說,當前中國的產業結構問題,最突出的是產能過剩,這個問題的形成,除了體質機制因素之外,一個重要原因是創新能力不足,許多產業出於全球產業鏈低端,形成產能週期性過剩、結構性過剩,甚至絕對過剩等問題。

據統計,目前內地專業技術人才總量近6000萬,但高精尖人才仍然不足。

中國與全球化智庫主任王輝耀表示,當前中國高層次人才發展呈不可持續裝填,“人才赤字”仍然巨大,人才流失仍然嚴重,客觀存在“人才壁壘”。要解決這些問題,就要樹立開放的人才觀,加緊制定完善中高層次人才出入境和居留等政策,改革教育體制,鼓勵中外合作辦學。

國家行政學院經濟學教研部主任張占斌認為,會議提出的改革舉措與當前大力推進的簡政放權、財稅體制改革、科技體制改革、教育體制改革密切相關,今後應該把各項相關改革的頂層設計和實施創新驅動發展戰略統籌考慮和實施。

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中央或加大對新媒體平台政治和財政支持

http://www.nanzao.com/tc/china/35642/zhong-yang-huo-jia-da-dui-xin-mei-ti-ping-tai-zheng-zhi-he-cai-zheng-zhi-chi

中央或加大對新媒體平台政治和財政支持

習近平要求建立幾家擁有強大實力和傳播力富有公信力及影響力的新型媒體集團

Teddy Ng

2014年08月19日 上午11:33

 

中國國家主席習近平昨天主持召開中央全面深化改革領導小組會議,期間呼籲在本土建立新型主流媒體。

早前,一年一度的北戴河非正式領導人閉門會議結束,不久內地也將迎來一系列重要事件,包括已故領導人鄧小平誕辰110周年,以及將於10月舉行的中共四中全會。

據新華社報道,昨天的會議討論了各種改革舉措,包括規範國企高管薪酬。

習近平昨天還主持召開中央財經領導小組會議,期間要求加快調整經濟發展模式。

新華社報道稱,中央全面深化改革領導小組會議審議通過一份報告,報告倡導傳統媒體與新興媒體融合發展,並要求著力打造一批“形態多樣”、“手段先進”、“具有競爭力”的新型媒體。

據報道,習近平要求建立幾家擁有強大實力和傳播力、富有公信力及影響力的新型媒體集團。

他說,當局須適當推動傳統媒體和新興媒體的融合和管理,確保融合發展沿著正確方向推進。

新媒體在內地很受歡迎。今年第一季度,即時通訊平台微信(WeChat)錄得近4億活躍用戶,微信公眾賬號總數也達到逾580萬個。許多記者也使用微信平台。

上月,《東方早報》出版商上海報業集團推出新媒體項目《澎湃新聞》(The Paper)。用戶既可在網上瀏覽,也可通過手機應用和微信閱讀。

北京大學新聞學教授胡泳預計,隨著傳統媒體影響力逐漸減弱,中央政府可能加大對新媒體平台的政治和財政支持。

北京外國語大學副教授喬木認為,當局正加強對所有媒體平台的控制,所以新媒體的影響力有限。

國家互聯網信息辦公室本月早前宣布,只授權通訊社和新聞網站在即時通訊平台上發布原創新聞內容。

喬木說,當局仍希望嚴格控制意識形態。倡導發展新媒體不會真正改變媒體行業的性質。

(翻譯/Jean Zhou;編審/Alison Yeung)

 

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Xi Jinping calls for new style of media organisation

Xi Jinping calls for new style of media organisation

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1576351/xi-jinping-calls-new-style-media-organisation

Reform initiative aims to create groups that are ‘diversified’, ‘advanced’, and ‘competitive’

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 August, 2014, 11:51pm

Teddy Ng in Beijing teddy.ng@scmp.com

 

President Xi Jinping called for the country to build a homegrown new media industry yesterday as he chaired the powerful central leading group for deepening reform.

The meeting came after the conclusion of the annual informal closed-door talks among Communist Party leaders at the seaside resort of Beidaihe in Hebei, and ahead of a series of key events including the 110th birthday anniversary of late leader Deng Xiaoping and the party’s fourth plenary session in October.

Xinhua reported that various other reform initiatives were discussed at yesterday’s meeting, including regulating the pay of top executives at state-owned enterprises.

Xi also chaired a meeting of the leading group for financial and economic affairs yesterday, at which he called for a faster adjustment of the economic development pattern.

A report on promoting the integration of traditional and new media was approved at the reform group meeting, calling for measures to be taken to develop new media organisations that are “diversified”, “advanced”, and “competitive”, Xinhua reported.

“Several new media groups that have strength, communication capacity, credibility and are influential should be established,” Xi was quoted as saying.

Authorities have to “properly integrate and manage traditional and new media, ensuring the integration is heading in the right direction,” Xi said.

New media is hugely popular in China. Nearly 400 million monthly active users were reported in the first quarter for the instant messaging platform WeChat, where more than 5.8 million content providers are disseminating information on its public accounts. Many journalists also use the platform.

The Shanghai United Media Group, which publishes the Dongfang Daily, last month launched The Paper, which is available online and through a mobile phone app and WeChat.

Hu Yong, a journalism professor at Peking University, expected the central government would give political and financial support for more new media platforms as the impact of traditional media dwindled.

Qiao Mu, an associate professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University, said the impact of new media would be limited because authorities were tightening their grip over all platforms.

Earlier this month, the State Internet Information Office said only news agencies and news websites were authorised to publish original news content on instant messaging platforms.

“The authorities still want to maintain tight control over ideology. The promotion of new media will not lead to any real change in the nature of the media industry,” Qiao said.

Additional reporting by Stephen Chen

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as Xi calls for new style of media organisation

 

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2014德国之声Bobs新媒体大赛评选结果揭晓

2014德国之声Bobs新媒体大赛评选结果揭晓

07.05.2014

王左中右的字新闻获最佳原创评委奖。新公民运动获最佳社会运动公众奖。艾晓明工作室博客获中文新媒体奖(公众奖)。

德国之声Bobs新媒体大赛的国际评委在柏林经过两天激烈的辩论,评选出六个跨语种奖项的评委奖得主。与此同时,经过四周的网络投票,世界各地的网友从154个提名中,选出六个跨语种奖项的公众奖得主,以及各语言的新媒体奖。

评委奖得主是:

最佳博客

来自开罗的摄影师艾尔沙米(Mosa’ab Elshamy凭借令人印象深刻的照片赢得最佳博客奖。他用图片讲述开罗最新时事,也描绘埃及文化中的日常生活。目前,他正跟随拍摄年轻的开罗地下乐手们的生活。 2013年,《时代》周刊将艾尔沙米在埃及革命中拍摄的一张照片列为年度十佳图片之一。Bobs国际评委认为,“艾尔沙米以令人印象深刻的方式展现埃及社会的冲突与巨大鸿沟。”

最佳社会运动奖

视觉巴勒斯坦(Visualizing Palastine 获得最佳社会运动奖。该网站以信息图(infografics)的方式呈现巴勒斯坦的情形。不单涉及热点话题,如以色列修建定居点,也关注环境、医疗和教育的情况。国际评委认为,“该网站将一个非常复杂、且充满情绪的冲突以一种容易理解的方式呈现出来。”

最佳原创奖

王左中右的字新闻获得最佳原创奖” 在微博上,他用字创意的形式描述当天在中国社交网络上最热门的新闻。所谓字创意,就是以汉字(有时是英文)为原型,对其进行各种各样的关联变形,来表达某种批评含义。王左中右向德国之声表示,他是一个媒体人,现在在上海一家媒体集团做一个互联网新闻产品。他说,写字新闻主要是出于兴趣爱好,一般利用业余时间来写,获奖代表了这种形式得到了某种肯定,还是蛮开心。国际评委认为,在中国的网络环境下,王左中右的“字新闻”聪明且具创意。

全球媒体论坛奖

本年度德国之声全球媒体论坛(Global Media Forum的主题是信息与参与。印度地方周报新闻浪潮Khabar Lahariya 荣获该奖项。这份地方周报以六种印地语方言出版。12年来,一个女性团体负责该报的撰稿、制作与运营。这份报纸主要面向印度东部和北部的村民。那里基本没有互联网。“新闻浪潮”是许多人最重要的信息来源。国际评委认为,“民主政体的运作取决于所有人都有获取信息的权利,这份报纸充分显示了这一点”。

最佳技术革新奖

孟加拉盲文BanglaBraille项目对学校教科书进行数字化处理并以盲文印刷。此外,该项目网站上还提供学校教学材料的音频下载。孟加拉国有超过100万盲人。5万余名学龄盲童没有合适的教科书。“孟加拉盲文”项目由志愿者运作。国际评委认为,“孟加拉盲文”从根本上改变孟加拉国许多学龄盲童的命运,努力去解决政府严重失职所带来的问题。

记者无疆界奖

今年的记者无疆界特别奖由亚努科维奇解密YanukovychLeaks 获得。乌克兰前总统亚努科维奇逃离后不久,在他的别墅发现了被扔进湖里的文件。一些乌克兰记者正在收集和整理这些文件。“亚努科维奇解密”的目标是,对文件中大量的信息进行调查和分类。国际评委认为,特别在目前的危机中,对批评性记者提供支持十分重要,“必须鼓励他们勇敢前行”。

在公众奖中,中文获奖者有:

最佳社会运动(公众奖)

新公民运动以6000余票的高票数获最佳社会运动公众奖。新公民运动是由中国著名人权活动家许志永和民间机构“公盟”发起的全国性的公民运动,始于2012年5月,以“自由、公义与爱”为宗旨。主要依托互联网尤其社交媒体,联络全国各地维权人士。新公民运动呼吁同胞承担公民责任,积极履行公民权利尤其公民政治权利,推动整个国家以和平方式朝向宪政转型,并推动整个社会从臣民社会朝向公民社会转型。具体包括公民同城聚餐、要求官员公开财产、推动教育平等权等公益维权活动。因具有无领袖、无组织结构、无章程、无固定成员的“去中心化”特点,虽然自2013年3月以来数十名活跃人士(包括许志永)遭抓捕关押,但新公民运动仍在继续,并获得国际社会和国内主流的普遍同情与支持。新公民运动已将2003年以来的中国公民维权运动推到一个新的高度。

中文新媒体奖(公众奖)

艾晓明工作室博客 获中文新媒体奖。艾晓明是学者、独立制片人、人权教育工作者。本为中山大学教授的艾晓明从2006年起自觉地开始纪录片与社会运动相结合的创作实践,完成了《天堂花园》、 《中原纪事》和《关爱之家》等纪录片。2008年至2010年间完成《我们的娃娃》、《公民调查》、《花儿为什么这样红》、《忘川》和《国家的敌人》共五 部作品在内的川震校难纪录片系列。最新的纪录片是《新公民案审判》。

http://thebobs.com/chinese/2014/2014%E5%BE%B7%E5%9B%BD%E4%B9%8B%E5%A3%B0bobs%E6%96%B0%E5%AA%92%E4%BD%93%E5%A4%A7%E8%B5%9B%E8%AF%84%E9%80%89%E7%BB%93%E6%9E%9C%E6%8F%AD%E6%99%93/

 

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大陆互联网进入体制化时代

http://hk.on.cc/cn/bkn/cnt/commentary/20140813/bkncn-20140813000314990-0813_05411_001_cn.html

大陆互联网进入体制化时代

莫之许 独立评论人

 

“微信十条”之要害,并非设立资质审批,而是根本就没有资质审批。

 

近日,网信办颁布“微信十条”,进一步管束微信。此举在许多人预料之中,也已有不少分析,尤以胡泳先生的《有关‘微信十条’的十条》一文,最为精当。概言之,“微信十条”中最受人关注的是第七条:“新闻单位、新闻网站开设的公众账号可以发布、转载时政类新闻,取得互联网新闻信息服务资质的非新闻单位开设的公众账号可以转载时政类新闻。其他公众账号未经批准不得发布、转载时政类新闻”,而所谓时政新闻也包括评论,经济新闻,可谓一网打尽。

胡泳先生同时指出,资质的核心是审批,网络管理也越来越从“九龙治水”变为统一归口:“国家互联网信息办公室(网信办)原来与国务院新闻办公室合署办公,其后分开,成为一个管理互联网的超级机构。”不过,仅仅将第七条理解为审批,胡泳先生可能是误解或者疏忽了,根据第七条,只有“新闻单位、新闻网站开始的公共帐号”才可以发布时政类新闻,非新闻单位的公共帐号即使经过审批,也只能“转载时政类新闻”,这里的“新闻单位”和“非新闻单位”之别,不是业务内容上的区分,而是身份上的区分,第七条认可的“新闻单位、新闻网站”,指的是在现行主管主办制度,具有体制认可的身份的单位,而这种体制认可的身份,不是靠寻租就能“审批”得来的。

主管主办制是大陆文化管理体制的基本制度。主要内容是,设立国有文化单位必须有具备一定资质的主办单位和上级主管机关,如《出版管理条例》第十一条第二款就规定:设立出版单位,应“有符合国务院出版行政主管部门认定的主办单位及其主管机关”,同样的,影视领域里的电影制片厂、电视台,新闻领域里的报纸、刊物,乃至文化领域里的剧场、演出单位,无一而不具有主管单位和上级主管机关,并因此而得以设立。“微信十条”中第七条规定之“新闻单位、新闻网站”,指的是具有此种资质的体制单位。主管主办制度下,单位的设立是垄断和排他的,民间因为不具备主管主办资质,就不可能设立任何“单位”。

主管主办制度,遍及大陆整个文化领域。也因此,大陆并不具备通常意义上的“出版自由”和“新闻自由”。不过,却并非所有的出版业务或者新闻业务,都由体制内的单位来进行。其中最为突出的,当属出版行业,大陆出版行业一直存在所谓的“二渠道”或者民营出版公司,相当多的畅销图书,都由这些民营出版公司从头到尾制作完成,并进行市场营销,只是在现有管理体制下,民营出版公司的每一本图书,都需要经过出版社也就是具有此种资质的“出版单位”取得书号,才具有合法之资质,可以上市销售。同样的,在报刊领域,也可以租用刊号,进行经营。

上述现象的存在,不外市场新极权体制的一个面相。一方面,出于意识形态和思想宣传的考虑,体制要保持对于文化事业的直接控制,另一方面,随着市场化的展开,民众拥有越来越多的文化消费需求,依靠既有的体制单位又难以充分满足,这催生了两种现象,一是体制单位利用其垄断地位和资源优势,引入市场机制,创设派生的市场化平台,以满足民众的文化消费,所谓的市场化媒体即属此类,其垄断地位和资源优势则能帮助乃至保证其获得相当利益;一是体制单位利用其垄断身份,提供某种准入资格,以牟取收益,出版领域的“书号费”,即属其类。无论是哪一种方式,体制都保持了对出版内容的某种直接控制,而体制单位则充当了类似“看门人”的角色,书籍或者报刊的制作流程和纸质界面,则又保证了这种看门人角色的行之有效。

网络的出现,对上述运行带来了相当冲击。与报刊或者书籍不同,网络内容属于即时表达,不需要相应的制作流程,同时,BBS、博客以及最新的微博、微信等互联网应用,则给予了成千上万普通人直接发表的手段,在新兴社会阶层旺盛的文化需求支撑下,所谓“自媒体”也成为了可期的商业图景。蓬勃发展的网络内容表达,内含了诸多为体制不喜的成分,体制除采取删帖封号等方式,以及通过定点打击网络大V等方式进行警告之外,更试图从源头上加以控制。而商业图景的存在,则对体制单位本身的利益构成了冲击,如果允许所谓的“自媒体”自行发展,那么,充当体制看门人的现有新闻单位的地位和利益,势必遭到极大的冲击,而为了维持对文化领域的直接控制,体制又不可能不维持和保护现有的体制单位,也因此,出于内容控制和维持体制单位的双重目的,将主管主办制度延伸到互联网领域,乃是体制依据其意识形态逻辑的必然作为。

也因此,“微信十条”之要害,并非设立资质审批,而是根本就没有资质审批,“微信十条”相当于在网络空间里延伸了既有的主管主办管理制度,没有体制身份,即使“取得互联网新闻信息服务资质”,所能获得的,也无非就是“转载时政类新闻”的资格,而依旧不能首先发布,更遑论以此经营。此前针对搜狐等网站视频内容的罚款,对互联网盒子的管控,其实都是此一目的的展现,即具有意识形态属性的网络内容表达,依旧只能由体制垄断供应,与之相关的商业设想,也必须经由体制单位作为看门人,才能够获得合法运营之资质。

十多年前,在笔者刚从事出版行业的时候,尚有不少人幻想出版行业也会通过企业化、股份化的路径,逐步走向私有化,甚至以此寄望整个文化领域,然而,市场新极权体制出于意识形态和思想宣传的考虑,以所谓兼顾社会属性和产业属性的名义,在整个文化领域保留了主管主办制度和属地管理原则,牢牢地保持了对文化领域的直接控制,即使在书籍等相对民营成分较高的领域,也依旧维持了体制看门人的存在。

如今,这一逻辑也延伸到了互联网领域,一方面,体制鼓励其直接控制下的新闻单位、新闻网站积极尝试新媒体,试图以此占领正出于蓬勃发展阶段的新领域,如最近风头正劲的澎湃新闻,以及传闻中的深圳前海新媒体,都属于此类,另一方面,如“微信十条”所表明的,体制明确了不会放弃对于内容的监管乃至直接控制,这也就意味着,在现行文化管理制度毫无松动的前提下,互联网并非例外之地,而只会被进一步纳入既有的管理制度当中。

 

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From Control to Participation: The Structural Transformation of China’s Public Opinion

http://www.globalasia.org/Issue/ArticleDetail/561/from-control-to-participation-the-structural-transformation-of-chinas-public-opinion.html
Home
 > Vol.9 No.2, summer 2014 > Cover Stories

From Control to Participation: The Structural Transformation of China’s Public Opinion

By Hu Yong

 

As China has the world’s largest community of Internet users, it is not surprising that the impact of social media would be potentially more transformative there than in many other countries. But to truly understand the potential of social media in China, it is essential to put it into historical context and weigh its development against thousands of years of dynastic control over public discourse, writes Hu Yong, a professor at Peking University and one of China’s most widely read bloggers.
Published: Jun 16, 2014

IN ancient China, during the Warring States period, Shang Yang, a famous statesman of the state of Qin, advocated strengthening the king’s power. He believed that in “current times” when “strong states aim at annexation while weak ones are concerned to maximize their defense,” it was necessary to adopt strong laws, and that violence in the form of “punishment imposed on people at home and wars against other states abroad” was the only solution. He stressed that “laws are the life of people and the basis of the king’s rule.” Therefore, people must be taught to obey laws, he argued.

To ensure that people were well taught, Shang Yang appointed legal officers to teach all people throughout the state. In other words, Shang Yang empowered these officers to take over the educational system. He called this set of theories and practices Yijiao(literally “unified teaching”), which banned all thoughts and opinions against the laws and his doctrine of Nongzhan, meaning “agriculture and war” (Shang Yang believed that “the means whereby a country is made prosperous are agriculture and war”). According to him, “Yijiao will make inferiors obey superiors.”

Han Fei, a philosopher known for developing the framework of Chinese Legalism, inherited Shang Yang’s “unified teaching” and believed that “people, within the state’s boundary, when practicing persuasion and eloquence, must always conform to the law.” Han Fei said, “The literati disturbed laws by means of letters and martial heroes transgressed prohibitions by means of violence, yet the king still treats them both with propriety,” and this was the cause of disorder. A marked practice of “disturbing laws by means of letters” was “being half-hearted towards the king and engaged in private studies.” Therefore, “such practice must be banned, the gangs dissolved, their partisans dispersed.” Han Fei then put forward the renowned Legalist proposal for education: “Therefore, in the state of the enlightened sovereign there is no literature written on bamboo slips, but the law is the only teaching; there are no quoted sayings of the early kings, but the magistrates are the only instructors.”

Although Han Fei failed to implement his proposal, his fellow scholar Li Si (they were both under the tutelage of the great Confucian Xun Zi), a minister of Qin Shi Huang, finally pushed the edict throughout the Qin Empire. Qin Shi Huang was the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty, and in the 33rd year of his reign (214 BC), Li Si proposed to burn all the copies of “the Classic of Poetry (Shi Jing), the Classic of History (Shang Shu), and the writings of the hundred schools of philosophy.”

Under his proposal, “the books that have exemption are those on medicine, divination, agriculture, and forestry” and “those who have interest in laws shall instead study from law officers.” As a result, Li Si brought to an extreme the belief of Shang Yang and Han Fei that “the law is the only teaching and the law officers are the only instructors.” Ever since, China’s rulers have enforced an orthodox code of learning, religious beliefs and social norms in order to put these recommendations into practice.

Adopting Qin Practice 

Mao Zedong once remarked, “All dynasties adopted Qin’s way of rule.” Although the Qin Dynasty did not last forever, despite Qin Shi Huang’s prediction to the contrary, he did create a system of centralized authority that united China and lasted for more than two thousand years. The residue of the system can be seen even in modern times. For example, Chinese today are familiar with the slogan, “Listen to the Party,” which is actually to listen to Party officials — a modern version of “law officers are the only instructors.” In the Cultural Revolution, the “great leader” was also referred to as the “great instructor,” who managed both politics and people’s thoughts. To manage thoughts was to eliminate dissidence from public opinion — a reflection of “people, when practicing persuasion and eloquence, must always conform to the law.”

When Mao started a campaign against “Hu Feng’s anti-revolutionary clique” in 1955,1he said, “there should be a unified public opinion as well as one set of unified laws.” By saying that, Mao meant that if there was anti-revolutionary dissidence in ideology and public opinion, the state legal apparatus should punish those who dared to dissent. Independent thinking by Hu Feng and his followers was at first deemed a “petit-bourgeois viewpoint,” then “anti-party and anti-people artistic thoughts,” and finally an “anti-Party” and “anti-revolution” crime. Hu was sentenced to a 14-year term in prison. At the end of December 1965, he was released from the notorious Qincheng Prison. But two years later he was imprisoned again and sentenced to life for the crime of “writing anti-revolutionary poems.”

The Hu Feng incident left behind a grim legacy — the “unification of public opinion” being ensured by the state apparatus and by laws. Expansive government control over ideology and severe restrictions on the freedom of expression were institutionalized, and exerted long-lasting influence. During the Cultural Revolution, “the unification of public opinion” was brought to an extreme and transformed into the idea that “the dictatorship of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie must be fully implemented in all areas of the superstructure.”

From Unified to Guided

After the Cultural Revolution, China’s political atmosphere became far more open, with much bolder criticisms and challenges to corrupt leaders and the bureaucracy. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) policy of “the unification of public opinion” turned into “the guidance of public opinion,” which means to encourage some kinds of public opinion while suppressing others. The Propaganda Department often told the tightly monitored state media that they should not be reporting on “wrong points of view” and instead should cover positive stories that promote “socialist values.”

Guo Luoji, a political commentator, pointed out: “‘The guidance of public opinion’ assumes someone’s opinion is superior to the society’s view and cannot be challenged. It imposes the principle of monopoly instead of the principle of competition.” In other words, even as the development of a market economy and the opening up of society mean public opinion can no longer be unified, the authorities still want to maintain the old structure of the “opinion field.” Market-oriented media have, to some extent, helped people air their ideas, but basically they are still affiliates of official media.

The situation began to change in the 1990s when the Internet emerged in China. But the real turning point came in the first decade of the 21st century when social media such as blogs and microblogs gained popularity.

What do social media mean for China? It is a gathering place for citizen journalism, allowing local news to become national. It is a home for public discourse, a national arena that transcends place and class as never before. It is a source of citizen action, where the people unite and struggle together to improve society. In sum, social media have massively strengthened the public spirit of China’s netizens, as shown in the emergence of the “online crowd.”

In other words, China’s public opinion has gone through a structural transformation. The so-called “mainstream public opinion field” no longer dominates discourse; a wave of popular opinion has arisen to compete with and challenge the official discourse.

Transformation of Opinion

Many acute observers have captured such a structural transformation. Nan Zhenzhong, the former Chief Editor of Xinhua news agency, said that there are now two public opinion fields in contemporary China: one is the “official field” represented by the party-controlled traditional media, and the other is the Internet. In the former, media resources are highly concentrated in the hands of a few, while in the latter, “gatekeeping” is greatly weakened. Anonymity on the Internet gives online commentators more sense of security and a greater desire for expression. As a result, the diversity of thoughts, lifestyles and cultures is far more obvious on the Internet. Hence, audiences prefer online media to traditional media.

Such a preference was explained by Qi Shuyu, a professor at China National School of Administration, when he interacted with readers at people.com.cn, the website ofPeople’s Daily (the official organ of the CCP). He said that People’s Daily is the mouthpiece of the party and the government, while the Internet is the mouthpiece of people representing their own voice. “We cannot turn the Internet into the party’s mouthpiece; otherwise, the very existence of the Internet makes no sense.”

Discussions in the two public opinion fields have very different topics, types of discourse and forms. The official media claim to represent “mainstream public opinion,” which, according to Zhang Shouying, Director of the News Research Center of People’s Daily, “promotes mainstream values of the state or the party.” He maintains that the mainstream media’s major task is to promote the principles and policies of the party and the government and to disseminate socialist core values. Mainstream media report news as well as “guide public opinion,” but in both roles, they have shown more of a one-way output.

Public opinion on the Internet has the opposite effect. The official public opinion field focuses on how the government creates a harmonious society rather than how civic culture develops, while the public opinion field of the Internet explores how citizens are motivated to influence the current political system through their creativity and initiative.

Less limited by codified social norms and institutionalized authority, the Internet has helped Chinese popular opinion emerge from obscurity. In the real world, many Chinese may still belong to the “silent majority,” while on the Internet they have the chance to voice their opinions and take actions they think proper. Online commentators have never been as active as they have in the past several years. Any significant incident, be it domestic or international, can give rise to a huge online discussion, arousing passions and stimulating actions that governments, institutions and public figures cannot ignore. Until recently, such a phenomenon was quite beyond the imagination.

The new interactive medium enables anyone anywhere to observe their social surroundings and inject a thought, a criticism or a concern into public discussions. Different forms of networks in the public sphere are in the making, through which everyone can speak, question and investigate without turning to traditional media. As a result, we have seen a new and decentralized approach to government supervision. It also influences agenda-setting, starting new political discussions as well as re-arranging the issues that concern most people. In sum, people who were once “subjects” and part of a passive audience now become potential contributors to political dialogue and actors on the political stage.

Hu Yong is a professor at Peking University’s School of Journalism and Communication, and a well-known New Media critic and Internet pioneer. He is also an active blogger and microblogger. His blog boasts a readership of 6 million, and his microblog has more than 2 million followers.

NOTES
1 Hu Feng, a leftist literary theorist, was a leading proponent of the subjective view of literature who asserted an active and dynamic role for the self in the creative process. Hu stood for a position in the leftist literary field that was opposed to the political, utilitarian view of literature held by Mao Zedong and the cultural bureaucrats of the Chinese Communist Party.

REFERENCES
Guo Luoji, “What Are the Benefits of ‘Uniformity of Public Opinion’?” http://blog.boxun.com/hero/guolj/202_1.shtml.

Han Fei, Han Feizi, Zhong Hua Press, 2007.

Mao Zedong, “In Refutation of ‘Uniformity of Public Opinion’”, in Selected Works of Mao Zedong, Vol. 5, People’s Publishing House, 1977, pp. 157-159.

Nan Zhenzhong, “Close Ties with the Masses as a Focal Point to Improve News Coverage,” Chinese Journalist, March 2003.

Qi Shuyu, “We Cannot Turn the Internet into the Party’s Mouthpiece,” June 26, 2009, http://news.163.com/09/0626/17/5COHP9610001124J.html.

Shang Yang, The Book of Lord Shang, Zhong Hua Press, 2009.

Sima Qian, Records of the Grand Historian, Columbia University Press, 1993.

Zhang Shouying, “Some Rules of Mainstream Newspapers,” News Front, March 2012, http://paper.people.com.cn/xwzx/html/2012-03/01/content_1051256.htm?div=-1.

 

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China intensifies crackdown on social media with curbs on instant messaging

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/07/china-intensifies-social-media-crackdown-curbs-instanrt-messaging

China intensifies crackdown on social media with curbs on instant messaging

Ban on pseudonyms and republishing news without a licence among further checks on apps such as WeChat and KakaoTalk

 

China has issued tough new rules for mobile instant messaging services such as WeChat, expanding an internet crackdown that has already muzzled microblogs and websites in what it called a bid to promote “true freedom of speech”.

 

The new requirements, published by the state news agency Xinhua, are to include real name registration and agreement by users to obey seven “bottom lines”, including upholding the socialist system, social morality and authenticity of information. They also ban public accounts from republishing current affairs news unless they have specific licences to issue news.

 

Service providers are required to suspend updates on accounts “that violate the user agreement” until they are fully closed and keep relevant records of violations and report them to the authorities.

 

“Some people are damaging other people’s rights and interests and public security in the name of freedom of speech,” Xu Feng, head of mobile internet management at the State Internet Information Office said, according to Xinhua. “The regulation will promote the quality of instant messaging services to ensure that citizens enjoy the convenience of such services. This is the true freedom of speech.”

 

International messaging apps such as KakaoTalk have been disrupted in China over the last month. China blocks many international social media services, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Instagram became unavailable for download from most major app stores last month.

 

WeChat, known as Weixin in China, allows users to share voice messages, pictures, group chat and video as well as text and has become hugely popular. It has approaching 400 million users worldwide, its owners Tencent said recently. WeChat has more than 4m public accounts according to data from Sogou, the Chinese search firm which Tencent has a stake in.

 

In China, WeChat became the forum for lively debate about the clampdown on microblogs, which included the threat of jail for individuals if they are responsible for “online rumours” that are forwarded 500 times or viewed 5,000 times.

 

The state-owned English language newspaper China Daily said it was hoped that the real-name system would deter people spreading illegal information or promoting violence, terrorism and pornography.

 

Hu Yong, a professor of new media, said the new rules, which come into force immediately, were no surprise.

 

“If we consider the overall picture of mobile internet development, these are regulations that would be introduced sooner or later. There should be no blind spot when it comes to information control, regardless of the technology advancement and user needs,” he said.

 

But Xu Xin, a law professor at Beijing Institute of Technology, who runs a popular legal aid public account that occasionally republishes current affairs reports and commentaries, said the new regulation was the toughest yet and beyond his imagination.

 

“I have just told the volunteers who help me run the public account that from now on we cannot publish current affairs content,” Xu said. “It is likely that many current affairs public accounts run by individuals will close down.”

 

South Korean authorities said China had told them that it blocked the messaging apps KakaoTalk, Line, DiDi, Talkbox and Vower as part of efforts to fight terrorism, Reuters reported on Thursday. Disruptions to services began a month ago, but no explanation had been offered previously.

 

According to Seoul’s ministry of science, ICT and future planning, China said it was blocking applications because terrorist organisations were plotting or inciting attacks and spreading information about how to make bombs through channels such as mobile messaging apps and video websites.

 

It added: “The ministry will continue negotiations with relevant Chinese counterparts to ensure that service disruptions for KakaoTalk and Line as well as inconvenience for the users in China are resolved as early as possible.”

 

Additional research by Luna Lin

 

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CHINA TIGHTENS GRIP ON INSTANT MESSAGING SERVICES

http://www.bigstory.ap.org/article/china-tightens-control-over-mobile-internet

CHINA TIGHTENS GRIP ON INSTANT MESSAGING SERVICES

By DIDI TANG

— Aug. 7, 2014 1:41 PM EDT

BEIJING (AP) — China’s government tightened control over popular instant messaging services Thursday after telling South Korea that access to some foreign services was blocked because they were used to exchange terrorism-related information.

The government announced that only established media companies will be allowed to release political and social news. That would curtail the growing use of instant messaging services by journalists and scholars to distribute independent news reports and commentary.

The ruling Communist Party has repeatedly tightened controls over microblogs and other social media that give Chinese a rare platform to express themselves to a large audience in a country where all traditional media are state-controlled.

China informed South Korea it has blocked access to two mobile messaging services, Kakao Talk and Line, which it said were used to exchange terrorism-related information, according to a South Korean official who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak on the matter.

China’s government is on edge about security following a series of deadly attacks that authorities blame on Islamic radicals seeking independence for the country’s northwestern region of Xinjiang.

Beijing says it has confirmed terrorism-related information circulated through Kakao Talk and Line, the South Korean official said. It was not clear how Beijing had access to messages between users of the two services, which are private and seen only by the participants.

Chinese authorities gave no information about which terrorists might use the message services, the official said. He declined to give more details.

In May, the government launched a one-month crackdown on instant messaging services to stop what it called the “infiltration of hostile forces.” Authorities said it targeted people spreading rumors and information about violence, terrorism or pornography.

The campaign targeted public accounts on services including WeChat in China, a mobile message service run by Tencent Holdings Ltd., which has surged in popularity in the last two years.

Canny Lo, spokeswoman for Tencent, said the company complies with government policies where it operates and endeavors to provide a healthy and secure online environment for users.

Last summer, Beijing cracked down on microblogging services such as Sina Weibo in an apparent effort to stifle criticism of the Communist Party. Authorities closed accounts of liberal-minded microbloggers and detained bloggers on criminal charges of spreading rumors or other offenses.

The crackdown helped drive users to WeChat, which allows individuals to set up public accounts that others can subscribe to, similar to the microblogging feature of having followers but without a word limit.

Journalists and scholars have since set up accounts and attracted sizeable followings on WeChat.

“Our information management does not allow for any blank space. It would be regulated later or sooner, and it is only a matter of time,” said Hu Yong, professor in the School of Journalism and Communication at Peking University and an expert on the Internet.

The public accounts have created a new venue for information-sharing, and now “the government needs to block the content which it deems ‘harmful,’” Hu said.

Compared to its response to microblogging, Beijing has reacted faster to WeChat and similar services. Government agencies and state media have set up public accounts and censors remove accounts deemed offensive.

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Associated Press Technology Writer Youkyung Lee in Seoul and researcher Yu Bing in Beijing contributed to this report.

 

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