ASAN 312 (Pollard)
Contemporary Asian Civilizations
Aat Vervoorn, “Media, Communication, Censorship,” Ch. 10, in
Orient: Change in Asian Societies
ed. (South Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press,
2006), pp. 273-295. Consider the following claims and summaries from that chapter:
Nation building, politicians have claimed, cannot be effective if the media adopt a critical or
anti-government approach that encourages dissent, dissatisfaction, social unrest, or division.
The media must be positive and supportive of the government, helping to spread
nationalism, civic consciousness, and idealism among the people….This view is associated
with what has become known as ‘development journalism.’….
.As taken up by governments
in Third World countries,.
..it came to mean ‘good news’ journalism that supported the
government, showing its policies and programs in a favourable light appropriate to the noble
task of nation-building. Any limits to freedom of expression, from this perspective, would be
the result of self-regulation, those that would inevitably follow from a proper weighing of
the national interest (page 284).
The following historical video on modern and contemporary Taiwanese history, culture and
will illustrate relationships between 1) overt government censorship and 2) internalized
self-censorship which does not require overt threats to be effective:
Judith Vecchione (writer, producer, director). “Tug of War: The Story of Taiwan.”
Videotape. South Burlington, Vermont: WGBH Educational Foundation and WGBH
Boston Video, 1998. In English and Chinese; with subtitles. 87 minutes. Library call