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A Study On The Formation Of Public Opinion In The Age Of Media

Posted on:2014-05-06Degree:DoctorType:Dissertation
Country:ChinaCandidate:D S LiFull Text:PDF
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Advancing communicative technology and the growing popularity of Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, has revolutionized traditional exchanges of information. The revolution, not only, has subjected public opinions in China, it has changed the manner of how public opinions are shaped.The integration of contemporary and traditional media has aroused public awareness towards social affairs. Weibo has provided a platform for netizens and the public to share opinions over social issues. Traditional media is confined to voice opinions are often implied, and the public has little room of participations. Contemporary media platforms have granted the public the opportunity to voice their opinions freely and directly. The Chinese-styled public opinions are now outlined as three criteria are now fulfilled:the public, freedom of speech and an opened platform. It in fact has broken Walter Lippmann’s theory that public opinion is incoherent and disorganized.Previous studies on public opinion leans heavily on the stages of how they are formed to reach conclusions. The method has its reasonable grounds, but the formation of public opinion is a systematic and shifting process, of which lacks significant indications. It will be a breakthrough and a bold attempt to study what steer public opinions, and how the forces behind wrestle to gain authorities.When the formation and environment of public opinions becomes more complex, the first to confront is the interactions between the reality and the virtual reality. The opinions in reality and those in the virtual world interact and it will impinge on people who journey between the two. Contemporary and traditional media intervene with both worlds, and sometimes it can draw consensus among those conflicts of interests. However, as the media is confined by various elements, a consensus is often difficult between traditional and contemporary media. The fraction of opinions is what we call "the two public opinion platforms".In the era of contemporary media, the worldwide web was decentralized and again centralized. In the process, new opinion leaders take center stage and outline a new class. Not only that the opinion leaders affect public opinions toward social affairs, they are also the triggers, analysts and provokers among the society. They have vast impact on the formation of public opinions.Naturally, civil power is another influence that cannot be neglected in the formation of public opinions. Civil power is unique as it has multiple identities. Management of mass media can often affect the way information is spread. As a user of contemporary media, official weibo accounts, including those of the government and public security, can infiltrates the opinions on public platforms. In times, when official weibos are mishandled, it could lead to a crisis. Civil power is shifting between identities, and it is a new trend, having much differences from its past.The crisis of detention center in Yongzhou, Hunan Province is a classic case of how different strengths wrestle. On the public platform, the mass public, opinion leaders on Weibo, local government, provincial government and even the central government began discussing the public of Tang Hui’s correctional punishments at first. And it evolved to discuss the country’s system of correctional punishment. It aroused tidal waves of public opinions. The case showcases how these strengths extend their influences over the formation of public opinions.The case leads to a couple of simple conclusions:In the era of contemporary and traditional media, the setting of public opinions has changed drastically. The formation of public opinions has then transformed;The formation of public opinions is a wrestle between the mass public, opinion leaders and civil powers;In today’s China, the responses to public opinions should not be information control and technical screening. Instead, it should create position interactions between traditional and contemporary media, government and the public, mass public and opinions.
Keywords/Search Tags:Media convergence Public opinion formation, Public domain, The right of public opinion wrestle
PDF Full Text Request
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