International Symposium on Online Journalism

When Li Zixin discusses what the internet is like for the population of China it makes me wonder how different things could be of the people of China were active and engaged with social media users of the Western part of the world. The limitation of what Chinese people can access on the web leaves them thirsty for a way to express themselves. Zixin describes a feature of his company similar to what a gym membership is like. There is a monthly fee that allows people to write and discuss things that they wouldn’t ordinarily have the ability to do because of the regulations the Chinese government has on the internet.  The people of China recognize the importance of having an outlet to express oneself searching for a way to do so. Compare that to the freedoms that we have on the Western side of the world and it’s unfortunate that we cannot find more quality content. We have the freedom to talk about anything we’d like and we decide to put most of our focus on things that do not matter. I’m in agreement with Dr. Kaufhold’s hypothesis that what is broken is not the news, but rather the audience. Somewhere along the way we have shifted to a society that needs everything now and this has led to the need to be entertained at every moment of the day. I too am guilty of this, but it seems that people have turned to trivial matters as opposed to issues that are important. Even when important issues are brought to the table it seems that we have lost the ability to have a conversation. Instead, one side is right and the other is wrong. The two sides continue will continue to be close-minded and continue to seek out only information that will confirm their beliefs, while ignoring everything else.  I would be interested to see what the user generated content of the Chinese people looks like and compare it to what we see on this side of the world.

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