International Communications

International Communications: In what respects if any can the international media contribute to more democracy in China.

Tibet or Xinjiang, the 1989 Tiananmen incident, Taiwanese Independence, call for more democracy and other controversial political issues (Bristow 2008). In fact, very few papers in China would even dare to go against the wishes of their government list they be arrested and put to jail for a long time.

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A clear example of how the Chinese government wants to lead the local media by the nose can be seen during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. According to a report of the Human Rights Watch, the Chinese government strictly prohibited the local media from publishing any unflattering news about China before and during the Olympics (sees www.hrw.org). Since the Chinese government controls the local media through systematic surveillance, intimidation and pressure of both economic and political in nature, local media has little choice but to follow what the Chinese government wants them to say or do. This scenario leaves the foreign media as the only factual source of information as what is happening in this country. Even then, foreign media find it difficult to move around the Chinese countryside in the hope of finding human interest stories because the Chinese government is quite strict allowing foreign media into the countryside.

With the way the Chinese government suppress the freedom of the local media, it is now up to the international media community to act as the spokespersons of the Chinese community. In effect, the international media has a big role in shaping the democracy of China on the following grounds (a) serve as a neutral sector that reports what is truly happening in the country and serve as a persuasive voice calling for the international community to respond to any violations of the ideals of democracy (b) serve as catalyst for change in the way the Chinese government by proving the outside world a window of information and unbiased views on what is going on in China

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