The Chinese authorities see the media and ITC as means of furthering development, knowledge and communication. To Chinese and Western analysts, this has produced an “entertainment society,” meaning that the main messages in the media are geared to consumption and entertainment. Nevertheless, new means of expression through ICT and the media are increasingly available to individuals and civil society in general. Drawing on three major events in China in 2008—blizzards, riots in Tibet and the earthquake in Sichuan —this article explores changes in patterns of Internet and media use by the government and by a civil society that is still under strict control.
- Information society
- civil society
- communication in times of crisis
- the media