University of Nottingham Ningbo China
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Social media's involvement in Chinese law cases

27 November 2013 (15:00-16:30)

The School of Contemporary Chinese Studies is pleased to invite you to the seminar presented by Professor Zhenzhi Guo, School of Journalism and Communication, Tsinghua University.

About the seminar

The recent Huang Yang incident (where a Fudan University graduate student was poisoned by a roommate) got wide-spread attention, recalling that of the Zhu Ling incident - a similar poisoning case that took place at Tsinhua University 19 years ago. The interest of public came not only from the conspicuousness of high intelligence quotient (IQ) killings by outstanding students from top universities, but also from deeper concerns about trust deficiency in a transforming society, where the legal justice and free expression is the focus.

Chinese social media are always actively involved in lawsuit cases, bringing online controversies and so-called "media trials". But the two cases have different outcomes. Huang Yang's murder was quickly cracked, with the discussion calming down; while the Zhu Ling's case, a historic left-over, has triggered a new round of cry for re-investigation and harsh curses on the "only suspect". Chinese netizens are always regarded as more passionate and irrational; while the website responses are just echoes to the Chinese governance of the day. They are authentic tests on the rule of the law in current China.

Speaker biography

Professor Zhenzhi Guo is from the School of Journalism and Communication, Tsinghua University, China. She is currently a member of the Academic Committee of Tsinghua University, President of the Chinese Association of Global Communication, and editor of the Chinese edition of Global Media Journal.

Professor Guo entered Beijing Broadcasting Institute in Spring 1978, as one of the first batch journalism students after the Cultural Revolution. She became a graduate student in September 1979. She entered Renmin University in 1985 and finished her PhD study in 1988.

Before moving to Tsinghua University in 2004, Professor Guo had worked with Beijing Broadcasting Institute (1982-1985, 1994-2004), Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (1988-1994). She was also a visiting scholar at Concordia University, Canada (1995, eight months), University of Texas at Austin, USA (1996, six months), Seoul National University, South Korea (2000-2001, 12 months) , Cologne University, Germany (2003, 2004, two months), University of Canterbury, New Zealand (2007, one month), Singapore National University, Singapore (2010, three months).

Professor Guo was trained in history of the media. Her academic interests include journalism history and history of the media with a focus on social involvement. She is the author of several books, including A History of Chinese Television (in Chinese, 1991, 1997), Broadcasting History: Of China and the World (in Chinese, 2005, 2008). Her recent research is on new media development, media law, regulations, and ethics in China. She has just finished a research on Chinese television and the Southeast Asian context.