The right to freedom of expression versus media censorship in China : Chinese citizens and the Internet
This dissertation examines citizens’ practice of freedom of expression on the Internet in China. It focuses its discussion on issues such as what channels are available for Chinese citizens to voice their opinions on social and political issues, how Chinese citizens raise issues on the Internet, what impact of the Internet is on traditional media, and what the attitude of the government is in responding to online opinions. By reviewing Internet policies adopted by the Chinese government since 1994, this dissertation looks into existing online censorship applied by the government and self-censorship practised by individual Internet users. It sheds light on the reasons of the seemingly contradictory attitude of the Chinese government towards Internet and the widely practised self-censorship among Chinese citizens. Through analyzing two recent cases, it examines the situation of citizens’ participation in online expression in China. It addresses existing issues faced by Chinese citizens in relation to free practice of their right to freedom of expression. Observing the ongoing phenomenon of a joint force, consists of traditional media and Internet companies in facilitating disputable online discussions. This dissertation also analyses the role of parties other than the government, such as traditional media and Internet companies, in favoring the practice of freedom of expression of the citizens. Taking note on the impact of Internet on traditional media, this dissertation examines the new trend of agenda setting and the change in information flow in China. In the end, it provides suggestions for further research in related fields.
PublisherUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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