Not long ago, I went to Beijing for an annual meeting，which gave me the opportunity to meet in the flesh a few Chinese friends I had only communicated with online before. From several discussions I received deep insights，but the most profound was no doubt about the phenomenon of China’s “two networks”. To tell the truth, the first time I heard of”the two networks phenomenon”, I just scratched my head, not understanding. But after the person I was talking with explained a bit more, I understood what it means.
The two networks, in short, are television China and computer China. For many people, these are two completely different worlds.
“Television China”: 7 o’clock in the evening, that’s generally when I prepare dinner after coming back home.。Each time I turn on TV at that time，I discover that all satellite channels are broadcasting the same news program。I have watched it a few times，But I gradually discovered that each day, the contents of the news is similar，so I decided that the program could not increase my understanding of China.So then, when I have my 7 o’clock dinner, I simply the latest“food”program。I benefit greatly from watching this program，it makes me discover lots of restaurants in the city where I live.
“Computer China”: Last year in early September, I started writing a blog. I can still remember clearly. I can still remember my excitement the first time I wrote a post. At the time, after finishing the post and pressing ‘publish now’, I was puzzled that my post did not appear rightaway. Only later did I learn that in China, posts are reviewed. But even so, speech on the internet is much more open than in traditional media, especially television. The growth of micro-blogging is an unexpected phenomenon. On the one hand, people never expected micro-blogging to grow so fast; on the other, although some people that micro-blogging is controlled, still, it is considerably more open than other media.
At certain moments，when I look at online comments，I can’t help feeling: why do so many people criticize the State？I believe news threads and online comments at the back of posts have more value than a post itself and they can truly reflect the view of many people. Now，the added number of Weibo comments can truthfully reflect people’s way of thinking，and for that reason, it is gradually becoming a ‘common’ media. I believe that microblogging, news threads and comments to posts are already gradually becoming the main force of “computer China”。I even highly suspect whether foreigners who do not look at weibo have a correct understanding of China. In a future not too far away，Weibo may become the main information channel for foreigners doing research on China.
Weibo is originally a media for the private sector，how can it become a public domain media? For me，this possibility and the current state of the Chinese media environment are not unrelated. To put it differently，contemporary Chinese media have not performed their responsibilities well，or they have not fully reflected people’s actual way of thinking. This gradually led people to making the most of networking tools at their disposal in order to express their view. Korea is not exceptional，in particular in the rising influence of Twitter. Twitter played a mayor role in the Seoul Mayor by-election in October. Through the influence of twitter, the independent candidate Puyuan Chun could beat the candidate of the ruling party, and become the new mayor. One of the reasons twitter played such an important role in this process is also that the traditional Korean media, television, newspapers and others, do not reflect the true opinion of people in Seoul.
I believe that the phenomenon of China’s “two networks” will continue for a certain period of time, and weibo microblogging will no doubt continue to be a media protagonist。As an effective means of communication，weibo has already become one of the most important media. At any time, what we most need is communication. Only sincerity between the simple people and the State Departments and unimpeded communication will be able to reduce the distance between ‘television China’ and ‘computer China’.
Source : Caijing