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How the Chinese government’s control of the media impacts Chinese society

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  1. Introduction.
  2. China's Media?A Historical Review.
  3. Modern Media in China.
  4. Control of the Internet in China.
  5. Conclusion.

The role of modern media in Western culture had been well examined by social scientists. Media in this culture has been used to entertain, inform and, perhaps most importantly, persuade. While the pervasive presence of the media in Western culture may lead one to believe that this institution has a propaganda-like impact on the masses, the reality is that with so much freedom of the media, many Westerners take for granted the ability to access critical information in a timely manner. Although Western media may be responsible for propaganda?in its efforts to shape the way that viewers perceive a particular news story?the reality is that Westerners enjoy a high degree of media saturation that allows them to acquire information.Despite the fact that the Western media enjoys the fullest expression of freedom, the ability of many individuals to recognize this freedom has been muted. With this in mind, there is a clear impetus to better understand how control of the media can impact the ability of the individual to acquire information. Utilizing this as a basis for investigation, this research considers the case of China and the government's control of its media. Specifically, this investigation examines how the Chinese government's control of the media impacts society and culture in this country.

[...] By utilizing a system of strict government ownership of the media, the Chinese government has been able to ensure that this control remains a central focus of social and media development in the country. With this structure in place, the Chinese government has managed to retain control over the media and reduce negative international publicity. Despite the fact that the government retains considerable control of the media in China, there is evidence to suggest that regulations toward limiting media content have abated in recent years. [...]

[...] Chinese media habitually conceal[ed] facts and consciously promote[d] falsehoods, reporting nothing but happy news about the Communist system in China.?[5] While a review of China's political history clearly demonstrates why media control in Chinese society developed, what remains difficult to understand is why this trend has continued. Beginning in the late 1980s, the communist system began to collapse. Despite this however, China remained somewhat committed to continuing the socialist tradition in China. As a direct result of this change, the economic system that existed under communism in China began to dissolve, as China moved toward a more capitalistic, free market system. [...]

[...] Articulation of social issues and sharing of information are limited by the lack of institutionalized means of communication and public forums.? This scholar goes on to note that as a direct consequence of this situation, civil society in China fails to advance.[35] The reality of this situation is quite troubling because developing nations whose governments do not restrict citizen access to the Internet, media and information are witnessing notable changes in civil society.[36] When placed in this context, it becomes quite evident that the Chinese government's efforts to control the Internet are having a negative impact on the development of social discourse. [...]

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