China Review News (CRN) recently republished an article that Professor Hu Yong from the Peking University School of Journalism and Communication wrote discussing the change in topics among Chinese netizens. Hu identified three major changes that represent important shifts in public opinion: (1) The focus has shifted from nationalism to issues faced in daily living, such as food safety and air pollution. (2) An Internet-based social structure is getting more and more mature. Large groups of people are using the Internet to ask for and defend their social rights. Public freedom of speech on the Internet is influencing the political landscape. (3) The Internet-based society lacks Internet-ready administration. The current administration is not aligned with the Internet-oriented values that encourage innovation, freedom of speech, mutual trust, and reduced government interference. Hu suggested that the approach the government takes at present is heading in the opposite direction. The article concluded by calling for recognition of netizens’ basic rights.
Source: China Review News, January 8, 2012