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December 21, 2006


Fons Tuinstra

Very useful, Rebecca, thanks.

I should have brought this up earlier during our exchanges, but then, it is always easier to be smart afterwards.
Your research is based on one unproven assumption: the idea that foreign correspondents (still) have an influence on audiences in China itself or elsewhere. What has shocked me in the past is the lack of information, debate that is actually going around. In the past media like FEER, Asiaweek and the SCMP were considered to be leading in the English language sphere, although when I asked for example business people very few would actually read those 'leading' media. All three have lost that possibly imaginary position of being leading now for different reasons.
For me, my RSS-reader has becoming leading, allowing me to scan 200+ sources every day in a pretty convenient way. But I'm not so sure what drives the debate nowadays - if anything. That would need broader research that yours into the habits of foreign correspondents alone.


the importance of the foreign correspondents is not for fons tuinstra. rather, it is for the several hundred million people who read the foreign media around the world. the foreign media are the main source of information for the masses in foreign countries.

Fons Tuinstra

I only agree partly, Roland. Foreign correspondents have been both an access gate and a filter for foreign news. Whatever their position in the past, you see the number of foreign correspondents drop dramatically as the structure of the media industry changes. In China that effect is not so large, because China is believed to be more interesting than most of the other Asian countries, and many correspondents have moved to China. But in other countries, India, Japan, Indonesia, and also Hong Kong their numbers have gone down dramatically.
One of the presumption of the weblogging scene was that it could perhaps partly fill in the void that was emerging. I do not see that happening yet, but would be useful to discuss as the influence of foreign correspondents on the news is bound to reduce even further.

China Law Blog

Thanks for running this. This is fascinating stuff.

Trisha Parks

This is good stuff, it gives us an idea about China's press freedom.


This is a great article. I'm doing some research, trying to understand the Asian blogosphere. Thanks a lot!

Mysterious China

Nice article,I have an English blog that introduce China to the world too. http://www.mysteriouschina.com

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