The Semi-Sovereign Netizen: The Fifth Estate in China Sun Huan, William H. Dutton, and Weiwei Shen Oxford Internet Institute University of OxfordPrepared for a Preconference for the 2012 Annual Meeting of the InternationalCommunication Association (ICA), Phoenix, Arizona, 23 May 2012.
Politics and the Internet Irrelevant, Ineffectual, Clicktvisim Inherently Democratic, Autocratic Social Shaped: Reinforcement Politics Enhancing the Communicative Power of Networked Individuals, Enabling aFifth Estate
The Fourth Estate“[Edmund] Burke said there were Three Estates inParliament; but, in the Reporters’ Gallery yonder,there sat a Fourth Estate more prominent far thanthey all. It is not a figure of speech, or wittysaying; it is a literal fact – very momentous to usin these times.”Thomas Carlyle (1831), Heroes and Hero-Worship, at www.gutenberg.org.etext/1091
The Fifth Estate Press since the 18th Century -the ‘Fourth Estate’ Internet in the 21st - enabling aFifth Estate−−Enabling people to network with other individualsand with information, services and technicalresources in ways that support social accountabilityin business and industry, government, politics, andthe media.
Arenas: Networked Institutions Networked IndividualsNews Online journalism, BBC Netizens, Citizen Online, Live Micro-Blogging Journalists, Bloggers, Whistleblowers, Leaks, Churnalism.org, Hacking BlacklashDemocracy E-Democracy, E- Obama campaign, Aung Consultation, e-Voting San Suu Kyi, Arab Springs, Anti-Bribery WebsitesEducation Online Learning, Multimedia Backchannels, Informal Classrooms Learning, Rate My TeacherHealth and Medical NHS Direct, e-mailing safety Going to the Internet for alerts health information, Sermo
Three (Exceptional) Cases Visiting Journalism Student: Sun Huan OII Masters Student: Weiwei Shen Three Case Studies in China Blocking Xiamen Paraxylene (PX) Chemical Plant Reporting on Gas Explosion in Nanjing Challenging Travel Expenses of Guangzhou Maritime Court
Blocking Paraxylene (PX) Chemical Plantin Xiamen, Fujian Province, 2007
Reporting of Gas Explosion in Nanjing,Jiangsu, 2010
Exposing Waste in Funding of Visit Abroad byOfficials of Guangzhou Maritime Court, 2009Eleven day studytrip to SouthAfrica, Egypt, andTurkey by SixOfficials
Some Key Themes Exceptional Cases Key Problems Tied to Limits on the Press 5th Estate Changing the Scope of Debate(E.E. Schattschneider) – PX Need for New Media Literacy and Training Instinct to Control Media, Rumors – Gas Explosion (support for journalism training) Build on Accountability - ‘Anti-Corruption’ - Travel