Following the escalation of armed conflict in
What took over the internet, however, was far from patriotic. Weibo users either expressed outright scepticism or questioned where all the increasing military funds had gone. Similar outrage erupted online last summer, when two media outlets praised Chinese soldiers for having to resort to drinking dirty water on a
Journalists at the BBC suggested that both episodes show discrepancies between “viewers’ genuine demand for better treatment of soldiers” and what reporters are attempting to portray. Simply put, reporters who are under the influence of the Central Government are out of touch with the popular sentiment.
Chai Jing’s self-produced programme Under the Dome reached approximately 200 million mainlanders despite it being censored days after its release. The film was a breath of fresh air among the usual humdrum of politically motivated documentaries and generated 280 million posts on Weibo alone.
TVB, the subject of widespread complaints in recent years, experienced a staggering 18.9 per cent drop in profits in 2014 in spite of it maintaining a de facto monopoly on free television. Its reputation further plummeted when the news department was criticised as “biased” during the Occupy Central campaign when it reported news that was contrary to the truth.
Media, in theory, should be neutral, because it controls the transmission of knowledge and therefore moulds public opinions. But in this day and age where there are plenty of methods to gather information, media that greatly diverges from the interests of public can be punished by a drop in viewership.