New Anecdote on Internet and Chinese Nationalism

In today's WSJ, Emily Parker picks up an interesting anecdote about the potency and power of Chinese nationalism expressed online:

In fact, the widespread popularity of the Internet is allowing the people to influence the state media. A Chinese journalist who worked for CCTV, a major state media outlet, explained to me how this works. The journalist, who requested that he not be named, described his own experience covering Japan's bid for a permanent seat on the Security Council. An Internet petition opposing the bid reportedly obtained over 40 million signatures.

"Public opinion may have played a decisive role in determining the state media reporting, not the other way around. "After the reactions on the Internet, the government changed, so we had to change. We had to report every day on how these efforts [to gain a seat on the Security Council] were going. Before this era, government could act unilaterally. Now, when something happens on the Internet, the government has to change policy.

cross-posted to Harvard's I&D blog.



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