The effect of new media
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Yesterday was a special day in modern China’s history. This is a time the leaders don’t want to talk about, and generation Y (young people born after 1980s) don’t know much about. I was a high school senior at the time, and we worried we would get into a sort of cultural revolution considering chaotic situation at that time. All right, I don’t want to get into the politics and the details of the event. All I want to say is I have lots of sympathy to the people lost loved ones in the event, and I was pleased to see the positive development in our country in last 20 years.
In light of the recent earthquake, China had 3 days mourning, and issued this notice to all the web site owners (source: wang jianshuo). Also, if you watch the CCTV news (Xin Wen Lian Bo), you will notice that the majority is still focus on the good news, and meetings between leaders are still the main focus. So, has China changed or not? The answer is obviously yes. I am using two recent events as evidence.
1) The response on the Chinese web on Olympics torch incident: I think the feelings expressed by Chinese people are genuine. To be honest, I have been upset by the demagogue of western media portrait of China for too long. I am sure many open minded western people will share my feelings, if they got opportunity to visit China lately. One of my colleagues visited China lately, and he was very impressed by the infrusture and progess made.
2) The earthquake: I don’t think add too much on this one, because people already have experienced the openness of the media. Otherwise, Wang Shi (Chairman of Vanke) will not get into the donation gate.
Progress has also been made in the US. Forty years after the assisanation of MLK and Robert Kennedy, Obama, the son of African immigrant and a white woman, won the Demacratic party presidential nominee. One key thing, I notice, is Obama’s ability to organize using the web. remember the Obama girl (Video: YouTube)?
Seriously, as I said before, Obama organize his web site much better than Hillary’s (much more Google search friendly); and his young supporters used Facebook, MySpace heavily for organizing. Note Obama is the No. 1 popular guy on facebook; Premier Wen is No. 10.
Townhall meeting: interestingly, John McCain asked Obama to do a series of townhall meetings. Note townhall is a very traditional style commucations for citizens and their leaders.