Blogs and China Correspondence: Lessons about Global Information Flows


“In countries and regions where speech is relatively restricted and news media are not known for their independence, blogs have the ability to exert greater impact on the public discourse – and are more likely to offer the public alternatives to professional journalism.”

And where is that?



Chinese blogs: highly personal and apolitical; young people as the main users; BUT “read between the lines”

“Flatness” of the medium enables the netizen participation.


Foreign correspondents in China have a relative strong connection to the Chinese blogsphere. They find blogs useful to spot emerging stories and as a general source of story ideas.



authored by Hong Kong-based media analyst Roland Soong

  • aims “to make a difference in specific cases and to create an awareness that things may be more complex than it seems”
  • offers “short-cuts” for the journalist’s story research

火狐截图_2014-07-16T21-24-22.400Zrun by Beijing-based media entrepreneur Jeremy Goldkorn

  • posts information about new developments in Chinese media and technology
  • provides translations from Chinese media and blogs
  • serves as a media watchdog over both Chinese and Western media

How did they capture China Correspondents’ eyes?

  1. original information not available elsewhere
  2. in-depth perspective based on specialized knowledge
  3. information or insight on places and people the journalist cannot easily access
  4. links to original documents and resources
  5. translated items from the original language on subjects that journalists are likely to find newsworthy

“Internet in China is a potentially alternative public sphere that provides new sources of information, analysis, and story ideas for China correspondents, which is particularly valuable given the unique working conditions and challenges faced by foreign journalists covering China.”

Representative democracy rather than pure democracy?!




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