Western journalists have long lauded China’s blogs as edgy, provocative and balanced alternatives to China’s official newspapers. Now, we have science on our side: In a new study at Middlebury College, assistant professor Ashley Esarey analyzed the 2006 news content of over 500 Chinese blogs. Esarey found that some 61% of Chinese blogs carry criticism, with only 19% of Chinese official news media doing the same. While Imagethief does point out that explicit criticism of local or national government individuals is low among Chinese bloggers, the WSJ highlights other areas of Esarey’s research:
some 36% of blogs demonstrated “pluralism”–- the presence of two or more opposing perspectives–- as opposed to just 5% of newspapers. Meanwhile, only 4% of blogs carried national propaganda, as opposed to 21% of newspapers.
Just one more reason to read Shanghaiist.