This seminar will bring together two of China’s leading academics to discuss contemporary challenges in media policy making.

ZHUGE Weidong: The Reform Process and Policies in Chinese Media Industries
China’s media sector has been experiencing tremendous growth in recent years. It has been reformed to apply company management to the originally non-profit media organizations. The process of such a reform can be divided into three phases, namely, the initial marketization, the establishment of media groups and systemic reform. This presentation will give a general introduction to the background, objectives, timetable as well as the problems emerging along the way of China’s media system reform.

GONG Wenxiang: Media and the Beijing Olympics: Changes in the Age of New Media
The coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics as typical “Media Events” was intended to present the positive image of China to the world. However, at the same time there was an explosion of new media, namely the internet, blogs, cell-phones, etc. The relationship between the traditional media events and the new media events can be cooperation, penetration, or even direct confrontation. In the era of New Media it is not easy for the official media to monopolize all the resources and channels of expression any more. The netizens found their own way of expression, their opinion leaders, and even their own agenda. It is a  new power for participation, and scholars view this as the dawn of an “E-Democracy” in China.

Zhuge Weidong  and Gong Wenxiang are currently visiting academics at the Programme of Comparative Media Law and Policy (PCMLP). Professor Zhuge is at the Department of Journalism and Communication at the Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences. His research interests include media policy, media management, and comparative media system studies. Professor Wenxiang is Director of the Institute of Communication and Culture at Beijing University. He works on comparative culture and communication studies, persuasion in communication, Chinese cultural aspects of communication and access to information.

Wine and nibbles will be served afterwards.