The rise in the importance of independency in nations has resulted to enhanced political power within nations with political stability consequently influencing the economical realm. However, raging debates are rising across the globe with the public and other interested organizations calling for political revolutions and political reforms for the reason that politics have influenced delivery of information and communication by taking control of the media content within nations (Wallis, 2011).
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Despite regular interventions by concerned organizations, nothing seems to change. Definitely, as politicians continue to influence activities undertaken by the commercialized media industry pertinent to political activities, the importance of media in delivery of information remains questionable.
For several decades now, Chinese politics have remained influential to media activities by possessing power over media coverage by ensuring supremacy above newspapers operational units and broadcasting centers, thus hiding important information from the public. For that reason, this essay seeks to explain why and how commercialized media and cultural system would reinforce the dominating and prevailing power structure.
Overview of Chinese media and political issues
Recent studies have established several challenges in the Chinese media including poor delivery of information and excessive control over media coverage by the government, thus presenting half-truths to public.
This aspect has raised public concerns on the democracy held by the Chinese commercial media, with sources revealing that there are no sufficient conditions, which allow media to dominate the information systems. Globally, politicians have been an integral part in the formation of laws and policies governing activities undertaken by private entities including the commercialized media, which probably explains the reasons behind the increasing political ascendancy.
In China, according to Wang (2003), modern advertising returned to the people of the republic of China in the year 1979, but little changes have taken place despite several regimes taking the national governance. There is also the eminence of political influence in the marketing of media with the government enforcing policies to overcome development of media and cultural sector.
Why media and cultural system reinforce prevailing power
Despite global efforts to establish legal frameworks governing the delivery of information and insisting on the importance of citizens’ right to information, China has lagged behind, as the Chinese media remains institutionally unstable.
According to Pickard (2007), the importance of the media society in China remains unknown with the public questioning the increasingly political supremacy on media activities. People approached the advent of modernized media technologies with hopes that it may create a significant change in the traditionally controlled and biased media commerce.
However, as the political issues became increasingly important, attention in the media society shifted from public interest to personalized political jumbles that remain equally insignificant to the Chinese public. According to Pickard (2007), the media significantly devotes to the contingency of power politics that has hindered liberalization and democracy in China, leading to lack of public confidence in the media society. There are several reasons why media and cultural system reinforce prevailing power.
The Chinese political systems have consistently dominated all activities that enhance economical order in the country. The rapid swelling of politics is constantly changing the tendencies found across commercialized businesses in China. Though not stated in the Chinese legal framework, it has become a socially and politically accepted norm that media is working under pressure from strong prevailing political power, thus covering maliciously fated deals (Pickard, 2007).
This scenario was different in the past, as media seemed less concerned with individual political interests and continuously served people diligently. It is a common knowledge, although a secret poison to the populace, that the media systems are becoming more politically submissive thus unfortunately neglecting the social-economical challenges facing the Chinese citizens.
All businesses inclusive of private and public sponsored organizations serve under the Chinese government something that clearly elucidates the reason behind media subservience to the existing power. Political regimes in China have been the same in terms of behavior, thus possessing similar characterizes.
National governance in any country or state of this century remains a pertinent and influential factor towards the development and peaceful co-existence. Embedded with the task of formulating laws and policies, which form the landscape to governance, politicians have emerged as the most influential bodies in the constitutionality of China.
Research on communication behaviors in China speaks volumes on why commercial media and the cultural system remain obedient to the incumbent government. According to Wallis (2011), the government has continuously frustrated the achievement of equitable access to public information by supremely controlling all activities including quality, type, and quantity of media content pertinent to the prevailing political and economic issues experienced in China.
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Several policies, acts, and laws have emerged to provide legal boundaries and jurisdiction over commercial media coverage in China throughout each successive regime principally to protect government interests in specific areas of public concern. This delegates local leaders to exercise supremacy over commercial media.
Protecting business interest has normally been crucial to any organization, as collapse in any sector may lead to absolute failure. Current political power and the system of governance consequently determine the fate of any business entity operating in China.
In a quest to provide the so-called conducive environment for growth and development of private organizations, the Chinese government has always ensured that it subjects private entities to abiding laws and enduring agreements coupled with making them subservient to the current leadership. Apparently, all organizations operating or collaborating with the Chinese government have to remain considerably incisive not to kill the rapport between them and the authorities, which consequently may influence their business interests.
Like any other organizations, numerous commercialized media businesses are private ownerships, and thus the laws and policies are not different to them. Sources reveal that any business operating contrary to the government’s will does not operate for long in China, and thus protecting one’s business interests is imperative for existence.
Despite raised concerns in the global importance of commercial media, laws have never stopped oppressing the efforts of media to provide comprehensive and important information to the public.
Since media remains an important sector in shaping the cultural system, the quality of information given to the public influences perceptions against the government. Branaman (2009) posits, “The function of media performance has moved partially towards the ‘authoritarian’ model on one hand to support and advance the policies of the government in power” (p.122).
The surged political pressure and laws governing the provision of information by the media have exacerbated the situation whereby the government plays a critical role in controlling media content delivered to public (Wang, 2003). Devoted to protecting public interests as instructed by the government coupled with the need to protect their business interests in China, several media companies have vowed to respect and protect laws governing the dissemination of media content to the public.
How media and cultural system reinforce prevailing power
Replete with law and rules abiding the dissemination of public information by media and control of activities in cultural systems by political power in China, there is always no option than to collaborate with the government. The media and cultural systems in China receive substantial support from the government media by upgrading and cultural construction and cultural reform systems.
By seeking political favors from the commercial media and cultural systems, the government ensures capitalization of the cultural and media industry in the stock market activities, as well as cultivating state-dominated cultural practices in the essence of dominating the market. Zhao (2008) is worried due to this capitalization for “it affects class structure not only as an increasingly central vector of production and economic exchange, but also as the means of social organization and site of subjectivity formation” (p. 76).
Seemingly, provident and assured of enough security to execute their unlawful acts in the public limelight, the commercial media and cultural systems remain dedicated to providing political cover and neglect important public interests. Despite the fact that the central state increased its interactivity with media, more of it remains skewed towards market interests, but not public interests.
Controlled information power
The power in the delivery of information by commercial media in China publicly remains within the government jurisdiction. Having potentially significant power over all business corporations operating in China, the government holds the key to important information disseminated to the public failure to which the laws confine any information provided without their consent.
The government ensures that it separates public interest oriented media from market-oriented media, thus leading to personal interests within and without the political economic plateau. The commercial media unconvincingly publishes information regarding public interests to capture market orientation rather than covering actual public issues affecting the Chinese populace.
Through the government jurisdiction, information published must acknowledge the government’s efforts positively despite how tiny the achievement seems. In pursuit of protecting their selfish gains, commercialized media players ensure that all terms governing their performance in the country, especially news and advertising sectors, have subdued published information accordingly.
In the current government, all newspapers, news in the local play stations, and television networks always provide public information in favor of political influences. Dissemination of public information and production of information lies under powerful political scrutiny, which in most cases favors the government side and alienating the accrued importance of public oriented interests. This aspect forces the public to lose morale in any activity involving commercialized media and its fellow business associates.
Over-privatization of Commercial media
The importance of public media for public interest is diminishing with previous and prospective studies revealing that media is increasing becoming more of private interests than private concentration.
Due to increased private interest in media activities and unfortunately the thinning aspect of public importance, the media has become a market phoenix that provides a conduce environment for private cultural institutions and few part-states stock investors who have consistently been involved in state political fracas (Branaman, 2009).
Private investors in the commercial media industry and private cultural system receive substantial support from the prevailing government that substantiates their business activities ruining the public media plateau.
Media players prove more significant and competitive in providing information favoring the political realm and providing considerable survival means for some politicians, and thus more privileges come in their favor. This aspect compels them to continue submitting to the current government at the expense of skewed information and communities systems that provide imperative public-oriented information.
Dominating media activities
All influential activities concerning the media including powerful advertising contracts from government endorsements normally fall under commercialized media and cultural systems serving under collaborative private-public system.
By controlling commercialized media activities conducted by media and frustrating efforts by other democratic organizations to encompass strategies that enhance the media content provided, political monarchy continues to dominate the media industry. Packard (2007) affirms, “Markets are expected to govern all sectors of society, and government intervention not in line with commercial interests is viewed as inherently suspect” (p.121).
The sovereignty of political power in media activities, including activities that trigger public attention including advertising and entertainment, allows the government to push the media society into working in their favor. Cultural systems fall into political traps by having government assurance of cultural construction and cultural system reforms assumed and promised by the government, hence continue providing significant political cover to protect the interest of a few individuals.
Influenced Cultural System
The political plateau continues to dominate commercial media and cultural system in the current government. The cultural system coupled with manipulated media remains truthful to politicians and powerful government something that best explains the reasons behind the collapse of Chinese culture.
According to research, Soviet Socialism and the end of the Cold War politics provided an insight into the development of “transnational communication system structured along neoliberal lines” (Packard 2007, p.129). However, with the neoliberal structure in it, nothing seems to have changed much in the modern China.
The existing government has been providing motivation strategies to only a few individuals within the public and private commercialized media and cultural systems to continue covering their political boundaries. This aspect remains a limiting factor that determines the public effort in deciding the leadership direction the Chinese government will take in near future. The dynamics of political relationship with commercialized media and cultural systems may remain under political governance in the future.
The current global and national media fraternities are facing several challenges with the political class manipulating activities undertaken by commercialized media and cultural systems. Capitalization of commercial media is the common term of getting rid of legal intended activities for public interest and reinforcing personal business interests in the media fraternity.
Apparently, the Chinese government has been in the forefront in collaborating with privately commercialized media organizations to provide information pertaining government activities as they continuously become powerful over the media content released on press or television to the public. Wang (2003) postulates, “Advertising is shaped by its structural relationship with the media and corporate sectors, both of which are reined in by the socialist state” (p.1).
Powerful media sections remain under the influence of politicians in China, who enforce laws that inhibit changes needed by the public and interventions made by different organizations in protecting human rights. In the light of the issues highlighted in this paper, it is apparent that commercialized media and cultural system can reinforce the dominating and prevailing power structure.
Branaman, J. (2009). A Political Economy of News Media in the People’s Republic of China. Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture, 6(2), 119-143.
Pickard, V. (2007). Neoliberal Visions and Revisions in Global Communications Policy from NWICO to WSIS. Journal of Communication Inquiry, 3(2), 118-139.
Wallis, C. (2011). New Media Practices in China: Youth Patterns, Processes, and Politics. International Journal of Communication, 5, 406–436.
Wang, J. (2003). Framing Chinese Advertising: Some Industry Perspectives on the Production of Culture. Journal of media and cultural studies, 17(6), 1-28.
Zhao, Y. (2008). Communication in China: Political Economy, Power and Conflict (State and Society in East Asia). Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield.