Chinese Media Expert Speaks at Mason

Posted: February 15, 2011 at 1:02 am, Last Updated: February 14, 2011 at 9:25 pm

By Madelyn Ross, director of China initiatives

Guoming Yu. Creative Services photo

On Feb. 9, Guoming Yu, a well-known expert on Chinese media and deputy dean of the School of Journalism at Renmin (People’s) University in Beijing, spoke on “Media and Culture: Reflections on the China Experience” to a large group of students and faculty members in Mason Hall.

After talking about how the media and its audiences influence and shape the news, Yu noted some salient differences between the United States and China. While China’s media has developed rapidly over the past two decades, it still has a long way to go to become as diverse and free as media in the United States.

When it comes to adapting new forms of digital media, however, Yu noted that China may actually be moving more rapidly than the United States. China’s web-based media is particularly vibrant, covering controversial aspects of news stories that China’s more official media outlets sometimes choose to ignore.

Yu also directs the Public Opinion Research Institute at Renmin University, the first such institute in China and a leader in the field. Yu noted that, following Premier Wen Jiabao’s speech to China’s National People’s Congress last year, his institute issued a report on public reaction to the speech within five hours — a task that would have taken more than a week in the 1980s.

Yu’s talk was followed by a lively question-and-answer period and a reception. The event was sponsored by the Confucius Institute at Mason, the Department of Communication and the Department of Modern and Classical Languages.

Professor Gary Kreps, chair of the Communication Department, noted that Yu had also spoken to faculty and students in the Communication Department earlier in the day and that several areas of collaborative research between Mason and Renmin University are under discussion, including a project involving health communication.

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