JMSC associate professor and media researcher Miklos Sukosd.

JMSC associate professor and media researcher Miklos Sukosd.

Social media allows censors in China to extend their reach farther than ever before, according to JMSC associate professor and media researcher Miklos Sukosd.

“On the one hand, Chinese social media services, like Sina Weibo, look like very efficient methods for social communication, with networks of hundreds of millions participants,” Sukosd said. “But in fact they also provide unprecedented opportunities for censorship and control.”

While China’s censors allow a lot of things to be discussed online, there are what Sukosd calls “islands of taboo” in what at first seems like an ocean of free speech:

“Criticism of the one-party system, challenges to the leading role of the Communist Party, human rights issues, negative comments about the national leaders of the Communist Party or their families or business interests – basically anything the government decides is taboo,” Sukosd said. “Postings about these topics is prevented by blacklists, or the posts are removed.”

Sukosd noted that in communist countries during the Cold War, underground essays known as samizdat, a Russian word for self-publishing to avoid censorship, provided a forum for the free expression of opinions and critical discussion of issues.  Printed samizdat may have been slower and reached a smaller audience than email or social media today, he said, but it remained completely uncensored.

Sukosd’s remarks came in an interview about three papers he has presented at conferences over the past year: Underground Print Culture and Independent Political Communication in Communist Regimes, at the “Printing in the Age of Smart Media” conference in South Korea; How Chinese Netizens Discuss Environmental Conflicts, at the Oxford Internet Institute’s China and the New Internet World conference; and West of East: Media in Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia and China, at the “Media and Democracy” conference at Oxford’s St. Anthony’s College.

He is currently teaching Environmental Communication and co-teaching Critical Issues in Journalism and Global Communications.

September 16, 2013

Social Media is a Boon to Censorship in China, Says JMSC Associate Professor

Social media allows censors in China to extend their reach farther than ever before, according to JMSC associate professor and media researcher Miklos Sukosd. “On the one hand, Chinese social media services, like Sina Weibo, […]
September 21, 2012

Attitudes Towards Environmental Films Changing

Cosima Dannoritzer, an award-winning German TV documentary and filmmaker, said she has felt a sea change in attitudes towards films about environmentalism over the last five years. Dannoritzer was addressing Professor Miklos Sukosd’s Environmental Communication class […]
September 11, 2012

Thurs Sept 20: Talk – The Light Bulb Conspiracy

German TV producer and documentary film director, Cosima Dannoritzer, will speak at the JMSC on Thursday, September 20, 2012. Dannoritzer will discuss her recent documentary film, “The Light Bulb Conspiracy”, with Professor Miklos Sukosd‘s Environmental […]
November 4, 2011

Hong Kong “Public Media” – Here to Stay, and Growing Larger

Public broadcasting in Hong Kong, the focus of much current debate, is set to grow in the near future, JMSC students were told by a trio of visiting broadcasters. Fears have been expressed in recent […]
May 31, 2011

MJ Presents Papers at Academic Conferences

Francis Yin, a Master of Journalism student from mainland China, has had two papers he wrote for the JMSC’s Media Research Class accepted for presentation at two separate academic conferences this summer. Yin will present […]
April 19, 2011

“Ecologising” Media Research and Practice at the JMSC

JMSC Associate Professor, Miklos Sukosd, refuses to turn a blind eye to the environmental crisis and looks to make the media more sustainable with his research. Sukosd shared his findings on the environmental performance of […]
April 13, 2011

JMSC Research Seminar – The Environmental Performance of Media

JMSC Associate Professor, Miklos Sukosd, will talk about the environmental impact of using modern media on Friday, 15 April at the JMSC. The seminar: What is the carbon footprint of a Google search, a tweet, […]
March 24, 2011

March 30: Screening of the Warriors of Qiugang, Q&A With Director Ruby Yang

Please join us for a special screening of the 2011 Academy Award-nominated short documentary, the Warriors of Qiugang, followed by a discussion and Q&A with director Ruby Yang.