CNN is in town this week, and doing several programs about Shanghai. Most a bit stereotypical, but I guess that’s what the average CNN viewer is looking for. They also approached Toodou for an item about podcasting. This morning I watched the item (luckily my illegal sattelite dish was working today), and I was not too impressed.
The item itself started off OK, but very soon it turned to censorhip in China. Gary gave a good comment by saying that for every page that is blocked there are probably 9 million with similar content that are not blocked. And he is right, the government knows it cannot block everything. But it is not really an issue for the average Chinese netizen: most don’t even want to go to the (mainly foreign) sites that are blocked.
Why does the media always focus on censorhip when they hear China and internet? In most of the interviews that I do the word comes up in the conversation. It is really not a big issue here (for me personally it is sometimes, but not for the average Chinese), and everybody knows there are so many ways around blocked sites that it is more like a joke to me.
Toodou is about entertainment, giving people a platform to show their videos. The site is supposed to be a place to relax, find new interesting videos and share these with friends. By focusing once again on censorship CNN is giving the world a very distorted view of reality in China.
Note: I got some questions about my illegal sattelite dish. Why do I not have a legal one? Simply because my building has no permit for legal (government controlled) dishes, and therefore I cannot buy a legal one. Almost every apartment here has one.