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Media Change and Civic Activism: From the Cultural Revolution to the Internet Guobin Yang

Media Change and Civic Activism: From the Cultural Revolution to the Internet Guobin Yang July 11, 2013 East-West Center. Perspectives on media change Media change from CR to reform era: Mass media The internet. I. Perspectives on media change Political economy approach :. State

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Media Change and Civic Activism: From the Cultural Revolution to the Internet Guobin Yang

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  1. Media Change and Civic Activism: From the Cultural Revolution to the Internet Guobin Yang July 11, 2013 East-West Center

  2. Perspectives on media change • Media change from CR to reform era: Mass media • The internet

  3. I. Perspectives on media change Political economy approach: State media liberalization Market

  4. Neo-institutionalism: “Media Change through Bounded Innovations” (Pan 2010)

  5. Co-evolution of internet and civil society (Yang 2003)

  6. Multi-interactionism (Yang 2009)

  7. II. Media change from CR to reform: Mass Media CR period

  8. Was there culture in the Cultural Revolution?

  9. Limited “culture industry” Books published in China, 1966 -1970 Elementary and middle school textbooks: 248 titles, 1.7 billion copies Political pamphlets (e.g. reprints of editorials) 584 titles, 2.6 billion copies Arts and literature 137 titles, 422 million copies Culture and education 5 titles, 6.7 million Science and technology 1739 titles, 243 million Readers for children and youth 287 titles, 165 million copies

  10. Selected Works of Mao Zedong (in mandarin, 5 minority and 36 foreign languages): 4.2 billion copies Works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin: 8.9 million

  11. Main channel of book distribution New China Bookstore (xinhua shudian): # of branches nationally 1957 3,584 1963 3,791 1966 (May) 4,076 1969 Headquarters in Beijing closed 1973 Headquarters re-opened

  12. Bookstores in CR: 576 million copies locked away in book stores 8 million copies of 6,870 titles locked away in bookstores in Beijing Biggest bookstore in Shanghai had 1,792 titles in social science in early 1966. 200 still for sale after CR started (Dangdai zhongguo de chuban shiye, Vol. 1, p.78).

  13. Shanghai People’s Radio program schedule for Winter 1970-Spring 1971 season -- Rebel Workers Newspaper (Shanghai), Nov. 8, 1970, First broadcasting 4:30 Chorus: East Is Red, report of program schedule 4:45 Revolutionary literature and arts 5:30 Program for workers 6:00 Weather 6:30 News and Newspaper Digest of Central People’s Radio 7:00 News and Local Newspaper Digest 7:30 Revolutionary literature and arts 8:15 Study and application of Mao Zedong Thought 8:46 Revolutionary literature and arts 9:00 News and Local Newspaper Digest 9:30 Revolutionary literature and arts 10:30 Study and application of Mao Zedong Thought 11:00 Learn to sing revolutionary model opera and revolutionary songs 12:00 Weather 12:30 News 13:00 Revolutionary literature and arts 13:30 Off air for break

  14. “Model Operas”

  15. Red Guard movement, 1966-1968 About 200 Red Guard papers in Chengdu 1,639 Red Guard papers in Chongqing (Chongqing xinwen zhi bianjibu). 256 Red Guard papers in Shanghai, according to a survey conducted in July 1967 (Jin Dalu, p. 3).

  16. Entertainment fiction and underground culture Breakup My Friend: What’s wrong with today? Today I look just as “proud” as in the past. This hair of mine Is carefully done by the best barber on Xidan Avenue. This cashmere scarf Gives me a handsome look…. Look at my shoes! How sharp-pointed How narrow, how shiny! What do you want? A worker’s wage, a peasant’s freedom, A student’s life, a petty bourgeoisie’s ideas. --“Breakup,” Quoted in Yang 1993, 157-158.

  17. Reform period: Commercialization and media liberalization Jan 1979 First post-CR newspaper advertisement published in Tianjin Daily. For Blue Sky toothpaste. Jan 1979 First post-CR TV commercial appears on Shanghai TV. For an alcoholic drink. April 1979 First advertisement in People's Daily, for industrial machinery. 1982 Temporary provisions for the management of advertisements (State Council)

  18. 1984 Hong Kong martial arts TV series Huo Yuan Jia aired on CCTV to great success 1980s Media industry flourished, including more independent publishing 1988 River Elegy, documentary, semi-independent

  19. VI of River Elegy. “Blueness” “The distinguishing marks of a despotic government are secrecy, rule by an individual, and the fickleness of his temperament. The marks of a democratic government should be transparency, responsiveness to popular will, and a scientific approach.” On intellectuals’ historical mission: “Their talents can be manipulated by others, their wills can be twisted,… their flesh destroyed. And yet, they hold in their hands the weapon to destroy ignorance and superstitution.... It is they who can channel the ‘blue’ sweetwater spring of science and democracy onto our yellow earth!”

  20. 1994 China connected to internet 1995 First metropolitan daily: Huaxi Metropolitan Daily 1997 Southern Metropolitan News launched …

  21. Growth of TV stations in 1980s: • 1983 52 • 1990 509

  22. Circulation of sampled newspapers in 2006 Shanghai Morning Post, 461,900 Southern Metropolis Daily, 1,400,000 Yangcheng Evening News, Guangdong 1,210,000 People’s Daily 1,926,400 (a drop from 8 million in 1980) Source: China Journalism Yearbook 2006

  23. Decline of newspapers for workers and peasants Flourishing of peasant newspapers in the 1980s (national, provincial, municipal rural news, peasant daily, etc), Most with circulation of 500,000 Disappearance of about half of these papers and decline of circulation of existing ones

  24. Top 8 TV channels by audience share in 2010

  25. Financial income structure of Hunan Satellite TV, 1998-2006, in 10 thousand Source: Hunan Radio and TV Yearbook 1998-2006

  26. "Mongolian Cow Sour Yogurt Super Girl Contest" winner, Li Yuchun, 2005 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4YOHgPVJbg Singing “Zombie”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SacV3R_Hihs

  27. Commercialization and liberalization: Southern Weekend case

  28. Southern Weekend story as example of intersection of mass media, internet, and civil society

  29. III. The Internet

  30. Most Frequently Used Network Services in China (Multiple Options), June 1999 – June 2004 (in percent)

  31. World Internet Population (2005/June 2012, selected countries) Country/ Internet population % of population Region (million) USA 202/245 68.5/78 Canada 20/28 63.8 U.K. 35 59.8 China 101/538 7.9/40.1 South Korea 31 63.3 Japan 78 60.9 Hong Kong 4.8 70.7 Taiwan 13 60.5 Africa 16 1.8

  32. Top 20 internet countries worldwide at mid-year 2012: 1. China: 538.0 million2. US: 245.2 million3. India: 137.0 million4. Japan: 101.2 million5. Brazil: 87.3 million6. Russia: 68.0 million7. Germany: 67.5 million8. Indonesia: 55.0 million9. UK: 52.7 million10. France: 52.3 million11. Nigeria: 48.4 million12. Mexico: 42.0 million13. Iran: 42.0 million14. Korea: 40.3 million15. Turkey: 36.5 million16. Italy: 35.8 million17. Philippines: 33.6 million18. Spain: 31.6 million19. Vietnam: 31.0 million20. Egypt: 29.8 million(Internet World Stats, October 2012)

  33. Types of Online Spaces (web sites, BBS, blogs, etc) Official:government agencies, media (newspapers, TV stations, etc) Commercial:portals, web sites of business companies, online bookstores Nonprofit and non-state: educational institutions, NPOs, NGOs Voluntary/private: intellectual web sites, personal home pages/BBS/blogs

  34. Internet and change a) Internet censorship b) Cultural change (gaming, literature, news, parenting…) c) Political and social change – debate, protest, muckraking, civic association online

  35. a) Internet control and censorship

  36. Evolution of internet control regime 1994-1999: beginning, focusing on network security and institutional restructuring 2000-2002: expansion, growing control of content 2003 – present: sophistication (combining proactive with soft control methods)

  37. Contradictions, countercurrents, resistance • Contradiction between development and control • growing demand for citizen participation • Risks, crises, emergencies • Creative resistance

  38. Internet and cultural change • -internet literature • -internet language • -digital videos • -grassroots writing

  39. Doing some writing after a meal, or a cup of tea, or after work and study – this is the real meaning of literature. In the internet, there are no hypocritical and instrumental purposes, no cultivated intentions to compose…. People know they basically cannot persuade others on any specific issue. Yet, the urge to talk when you have something to talk about manifests the cool and authentic inner spirit of internet literature. By returning to life and revealing the inner heart, internet literature gives the fullest possible expression to the authentic part of humanity. (1998)

  40. The biggest appeal of the internet is its openness. To publish “works” there is as easy as blowing off dust. People may do what they please: it is completely unrestrained. All the so-called “criteria” and “traditions” are overthrown. It only takes some typing and posting to “publish” works, to offer them to readers. How exciting this is for those who enjoy playing word games. And so it happens that an “internet literature” has flourished…. In contrast to its quantity, its overall quality is disappointingly poor. In essence, the “internet literature” as we know it is far more like play than like literature. I wonder whether we should not separate “internet” from “literature” and call “internet literature” “internet writing” instead. (2001)

  41. Political and social change: Case of online activism • Definition: • “contentious activities associated with the use of the Internet and other new communication technologies” (p.3)

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