Co-organized by the Journalism and Media Studies Centre and Pen Hong Kong
Date: Monday, 15 April 2019
Time: 6:30 – 8:00pm
Venue: CPD 3.28, 3/F, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, The University of Hong Kong (Directions)
All are welcome. Please register here.
Journalists and scholars will share their findings on the anniversary of the 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations, about the Beijing government’s attempts to erase the Tiananmen Square crackdown from history, and how the events of that tragic day are reflected in collective memory, on social media, and in the reporting of the journalists who cover China today.
Chinese authorities attempt, by all means, to suppress all forms of memories related to the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown. The state can make the process difficult, but it can never entirely stop people from posting messages on social media, especially when the meaning behind such digital content is subtlety represented, purposely circumventing mechanical operations of keyword filters. This talk draws on the Weiboscope database at the University of Hong Kong and reviews the censored posts collected on June 3rd and June 4th of each year between 2012 and 2018. Observations will be made to examine the extent to which memory in the form of social media has been seen and erased even decades since the incident.
Thirty years after the brutal crackdown, the Tiananmen anniversary has become more–rather than less–politically sensitive as time has passed. Every year, the authorities use a range of tactics to suppress both the anniversary commemorations and journalistic reporting on them. New findings indicate that three quarters of China-based correspondents have received interference from the authorities in their Tiananmen reporting, yet adherence to journalistic norms means that harassment is often unreported. In this talk, Louisa Lim examines the ways in which the legacy of Tiananmen has been excised from the collective and institutional memory in today’s China, as well as looking at the cost of memory and the role that foreign correspondents play in shaping memories of June Fourth outside China.