This chapter evaluates the argument that what are stubbornly still called the ŉew media’ - when do media stop being new? - have helped and hindered democratisation in East Asia. Communications and the media have long played a significant role in weakening authoritarian rule and advancing democratisation. Information Communications Technologies provide greater opportunities for horizontal communications that were not available to groups using only traditional communication platforms. Political leaders in democratic countries open social media accounts to communicate with the public, and then use these interactive platforms to establish friendship and intimacy with their supporters, especially during election campaigns. The social and political transformation that began in the Soviet Union in the late 1980s and spread through the European Communist bloc convinced the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of the dangers posed by this model of transformation. Hence the CCP felt justified in suppressing the demonstrations in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and in Chengdu in 1989.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (all)