Media in China Like You’ve Never Known It

The one thing that got me seriously interested into Chinese media was a random act of the Chinese government itself. In early June 2009, probably in a frenzied move to get folks to “forget what happened” two decades back, Twitter, Facebook and a whole slew of other social media sites were blocked in China. (Some of these remain blocked as of this post.) As a European I could not imagine this happening, as on the continent our Internet does not come with a censor built-in.

That got me interested in the media in China, and I’m not talking merely about social media here, but also media in China in general. As a PhD and Lecturer, one of the lessons I teach is, of course, media (both “mass communications” and media theory). I’m also interested in researching about the media and particularly about policy regarding media in China as one of my long-term research commitments.

Academics can be a weird lot at times, isolating themselves from the rest of us by using acadjargon and relegating ourselves to labs. To this end, we’re seeing a complete remake of the computer world in the 1980s: all the “pros” are using PCs running DOS, but a few are seeing the light and are using systems easier to operate (a clear example would be the Apple Macintosh). By this comparison, I consider myself an “iAcademic”. I’m making in simplified (but never “dumbed-down”) and readable form some of my notes from my current research to the general public — and I’m sparing you the cost of a translator. I hate being chained to labs and classrooms and abhor the idea of “locking up knowledge”. Knowledge is there — it wants to be free. Here goes, then…

May you learn more from a person of media theory and practice. (I was a radio host for five years in China.)
May you never get bored of discovering new knowledge.
May I please shut up.

BTW: Why name this site Chang’anjie? That’s what many locals refer to as the “combo avenue” that goes from the western suburbs through via Tian’anmen all the way into the Beijing CBD. Literally Chang’an Street or (for its size) Chang’an Avenue, it is both a symbol of political power in China, and is home to many a Chinese media organisation: CCTV (Colour TV Centre), China Radio International, China National Radio, Radio Beijing, Beijing TV, People’s Daily (just a few blocks away from the main avenue), and the new and still-oft controversial new CCTV “Big Pants” building, as well as China’s “number one” media university, the Communication University of China. The national and local media authorities also have set up shop on this avenue. It is as of there was no better name to call this site given its focus. Enjoy! All you Subway people: Your cues here are Lines 1 and Batong. They go right under this incredibly long avenue…