Wednesday, January 30, 2008

an update on my research

Before continuing I wish to provide an update on the progress in my work.

In order to fully understand the choices China must make in the near future, one must understand how media censorship under the Communist Party works. In an online report from the non-governmental organization Freedom House, Ashley Esarey, a leading political analyst of China’s modernization, examines the current state of China’s media with the assistance of a report published in 2004 by Human Rights in China, another activist NGO. Esarey explains how the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) wields control over news reporting, describing in detail both the structures and procedures of propaganda and the self-censorship that becomes prevalent among all journalists as fear of persecution spreads. More importantly, Esarey adds that China’s movement towards globalization makes availability of information much easier: privatization, consumerism, and access to internet news sources all challenge the CCP dogma.

Anup Shah, an independent researcher involved with several online organizations, including the Institute for Economic Democracy, writes about the media in a post-9/11 United States using his educational experiences in both America and his home country of England. Acknowledging the dangers of an uninformed and oblivious public in an era of globalization, Shah asserts that attention to the news may not even be beneficial today, citing The New York Times’ 2005 investigation into government propagandistic and ersatz news stories. He mentions that both corporate and political powers have caused self-censorship as well, drawing connections to the current situation in China mentioned by Ashley Esarey cited above. Using recent studies on the economics of news media and both the Chomsky-Herman Propaganda Model and the monopoly techniques explained by political scientist Michael Parenti, Shah argues that the focus on advertising, money, and power negates honest and important public education, resulting only in propaganda.

Both links will be posted in the right column of my blog for easy access in the future.

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