Three Chinese blogs of Years 2005 (2005年的三个博客)
The world is flat? In New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman's bestselling book for the whole year, the Internet seems to have broken down all the boundaries between nations and between people. Various types of information flow unrestricted through the fiber optic cables at the bottom of oceans.
But in practice, there are objective differences in language. The information relay between the Chinese- and English-language blogospheres was in an imbalanced situation from the very first day. "If an event was not described in English, it did not really happen," according to Chinese judge Michael Anti at the Deutsche Welle Best of Blogs Competition. Currently, Chinese intellecturals go to the English-language media to get the first-hand news about what is happening on the other side of the ocean. But most European and American persons can only depend on non-indigenous foreign correspondents based in China to observe the rapid changes in this mysterious eastern country.
The appearance of EastSouthWestNorth has more or less altered this situation. This blog run by a Hong Kong person was able to use astonishing speed and accurate expression to disseminate in English the most important viewpoints in the Chinese media and blogs. In the many news stories in China this fall, EastSouthWestNorth has unwittingly influenced the viewpoints of the foreign media organizations based in China, in terms of opinions as well as the manner in which suddenly breaking incidents ought to be handled.
From the viewpoint of communications theory, the information in mass media does not flow directly to the audience. Rather, they go through those opinion leaders who have frequent contact with media information in order to influence more individuals. Without doubt, EastSouthWestNorth has begun to play the role of opinion leader in the process by which information is spread from the east to the west.