It is controversial to talk about the media culture in China. China is considered as one of the conservative countries, particularly the medium in dissemination of news. People may have some reservations about the veracity of the news reports by media in China. This is mainly caused by the parties and commercial corporations’ control over the contents of news reports throughout the years. However, the emergence of new media few decades ago has altered the way of dissemination and consumption of information to the people in China. It allows comments and foreign culture sharing among the internet users. Hence, animal cruelty, which is one of the pressing issues in China, has been revealed and it becomes widespread news to both local citizens and foreigners. The media have now directly or indirectly caused some effects and influenced the perspective of people towards the relevant issue. Before further discuss about the media effect and influence on protecting animal welfare and stopping the inhumane activities, a brief explanation on media in China is given for a better understanding.
Media in China
Before the Information Age, television and printed media are arguably the most common way used to obtain news. However, it is claimed that the media are highly manipulated by the Chinese Communist Party and the government in China. Li Xiaoping advocates that “all news media in China are considered to be the ‘mouthpiece’ of the Party” (as cited in Latham, 2000, p. 637), and this has happened for years. The news report by these media are censored and not addressing the truth. The Party uses television and newspaper as their propaganda tools to decide what information should be received by the people. Latham (2000) further points out that the news media are subject “to contribute to social change as desired by Party and government” (p. 638). People who have no other news sources will blindly believe what they read from the newspapers or televisions. They are accustomed to this kind of news media. The deceit is going on with the collusion of the journalists. The journalists may get paid from the dominant corporations and distort the facts reported on the news (Latham, 644). As the parties, government and corporations are making news for their own sake, the issue of animal cruelty will not be emphasized because there is no news value for them. Thus, the people may not pay much concern on this issue and may overlook the enormity of the consequence brought by animal abuse.
However in recent years, as credited to the invention of technology, the emergence of internet has altered the media culture in China. The internet provides a platform for non-elite to spread and receive the news worldwide. The new media now plays the role to publicize the concept of animal welfare and bring up the issue to the people in China. The raising media coverage of the relevant issue has “attracted not only international but also domestic criticism” (Wedderburn,...