Changing Media, Changing China

By Susan L. Shirk | Go to book overview

8
What Kind of Information Does
the Public Demand? Getting
the News during the 2005
Anti-Japanese Protests

Daniela Stockmann

IN APRIL 2005, protests against Japan erupted in approximately forty Chinese cities. Nationalist youth criticized the Japanese government’s attempt to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council; the government’s approval of high school textbooks that they felt whitewashed Japanese war crimes during Japan’s World War II occupation of China and South Korea; and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, which memorializes Japanese military heroes of World War II, including some convicted of war crimes. The foreign news media accused the Chinese government of mobilizing anti-Japanese sentiment through its tightly controlled mass media.1 Chinese media scholars and propaganda officials blamed the commercialized media and Internet instead. Yet careful analysis of the way Chinese citizens actually selected and screened information from the media during the demonstrations shows that the story is more

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