An Internet research group under of the Communications University of China issued a report on its study of Chinese Internet opinion that covered the first half of 2011. The report concluded that micro-blogs have become the second largest source of public opinion after news media reports. The conclusion is based on an analysis of the source, geography and subject matter of over a thousand popular topics on the Internet. Forums, blogs, and news websites used to be the most important sources of public opinion. In the first six months of 2011, 18% of public opinion originated from micro-blogs. In those six months, public opinion on the micro-blogs tended to focus consistently on food safety issues. More opinions and information came from developed provinces with Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang being the top three. Hunan Province, Chongqing City and Hubei Province showed rapid growth. According to the report, news media remain the largest source of public opinion but their dominance has weakened.
Source: Xinhua, July 18, 2011