Academic journal article Asian Culture and History

Discussion on Media Report on Group Events

Academic journal article Asian Culture and History

Discussion on Media Report on Group Events

Article excerpt


Group events that occurred in China show a trend of increasing in the number, rising in the scale and range extension. With environment and society changing, the media have reported the group events these years. However, facing to the challenge of mobile phones and the Internet and other new media, the final reported results of the media are not satisfied. This paper points out that there are some questions about the media such as the slow reflection of the earlier reports, abrupt end of the later reports; being lack of objective, fair quality, or even false information and so on. It also analyzes the constraint factors from three aspects of the rise of group events, the risk of group events, the game between the government, the media and the public, as well as the legal system.. This paper points out that the emergence of group events presently in China has profound social reasons, which has not only a negative function, but also has positive features. The media need to act as a "social safety valve". Correspondingly China needs to expand the coverage of group events in the media and to increase the amount and degree of the media reports of social issues and social contradictions.

Keywords: Group events, Media report, Safety valve, Social conflict

1. Introduction

Within the transformation from planned economy to market economy, the emergence of group events throughout China shows a tendency of increase both in quantities, scale and range. As for the increased quantity, according to the report from "outlook weekly" in September, 2008, the relevant statistics show that in 2006, the group events exceed 90000 all over the year, while in 1993, the number is much smaller as 8700, and 87000 in 2005, which indicates a continuous increase in the group events in quantity during recent years. (Xinwen Wei and Feng Gao, 2008) As for the scale, it is quite common that hundreds of people have been involved in, while there are also several events that have involved thousands of or even more people in. Furthermore, some events have even involved in people from different units and districts, or a pretty large number of participants. As for the range, the group events happened in recent years scatter all over the corners of the country, relating to various industries such as construction and transportation. The diversity of the participants is obvious as people of all ranks and classes, such as staff both employed and out of work, farmers, migrant workers, sole proprietors, demobilized servicemen, and even students can be found in the events.

2. Theoretical framework and literature

The "Group events", referring to a kind of collective motions, is a political term with Chinese characteristics. In the documents "Consensus about prevention and proper handling of group events" formulated by General Office of the CPC Central Committee, "group events" is defined as "mass movements caused by the contradictions among the people, who think their rights have been infringed and try to express their wishes and requirements through ways like illegal gathering or containment . Including those illegal concatenations and gathering in the process of the campaigns coming into being" (Xinwen Wei and Feng Gao, 2007). The main principle in the traditional solutions of group events are to try first to make the events sound less serious and then to reduce it to nothing at all. The mainly adopted method is to cut the events off from the outside world. That usually concerns blocking the passage of the information about the events, in which the media's intervention is not allowed, so that the government can act as a role of third party in the benefits coordination of both sides. Comparing the difference between China and western country in institution background, researcher Liu Neng pointed out that "generally Chinese media is prohibited to report group events no matter they are routine or not, or they happened in urban or rural districts". …

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