Fri, Oct 28, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Microblogging a hot topic at cross-strait conference

Staff Writer, with CNA

The popularity of microblogging triggered a heated debate among senior journalists, industry experts and academics at a cross-strait journalism conference organized by the Mainland Affairs Council on Wednesday.

Peng Xiaoyun (彭曉芸) of Response, a monthly magazine owned by China’s Guangzhou Daily group, said it was the “virtual links” among netizens, formed through information and opinion-sharing, that has boosted the worldwide phenomenon.

Microblogs serve as platforms for people to generate collective sympathy on social affairs or initiate civil movements, Peng said.

“The existence of microblogs make up what Chinese society lacks, such as freedom of the press,” she said, adding that this was why “microblogging reached boiling point” over the July 23 bullet train collision in Wenzhou, China, that killed 35 people.

The blogosphere erupted when it was discovered how the Chinese authorities tried to cover up the accident, even going so far as to bury the derailed trains.

Microblogs are more flexible than conventional media channels in terms of freedom of speech, Peng said, adding: “Blasting the ruling party on microblogs is no longer something that is new, and there’s no risk in doing so, either.”

On microblogs, emotions are magnified, she said. For example, when surfing microblogs, it is possible for people to think China will soon undergo a revolution.

“But when you actually visit a local market, you find that nothing has happened,” she said.

Kuo Jia (郭嘉), a doctoral candidate at Peking University, said “citizen journalism” is what makes microblogging attractive.

“In the citizen journalism era, ‘why did something happen?’ is more important than ‘what happened?’” he said

Cheng Tzu-leong (鄭自隆), a professor of advertising at National Chengchi University, said media workers should be prudent when using microblog sources, and they should respect copyright and avoid using sources from commercial microblogs.

This story has been viewed 4862 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top