I remember as a child learning the story of the Hare and the Tortoise. To those not familiar with the tale – A Hare, a fast moving animal, has a race with a slow moving Tortoise – The Hare covers most of the designated course but it is a hot day so, knowing he is far ahead of his opponent, he stops for a rest, eventually falling into a deep sleep. The Tortoise continues its slow methodical way and eventually crosses the winning line ahead of the Hare.
According to a recent news item, Charles Zhang, the chief executive of Sohu.com, has told a forum in Beijing that plans to create global Chinese media giants were doomed to fail if the government did not relax controls.According to a transcript of the speech posted on the company’s website he said, "Chinese newspapers and television stations completely lack meaningful competition, and have no independent personality … so they have no authority or respect."
China has tried to get its voice heard more globally mainly via the English-language channel CCTV-9, but with little success it is alleged. At least a massaged view is better than no view at all !
The government in Beijing has apparently sanctioned a mix of commercial reforms and continued state control and censorship, for the media and publishing sectors, while seeking continued censorship of issues that directly challenging key party policies. Mr Zhang says these reforms risk creating media companies with no competitiveness, they mean well but end with no effect – a "tiger’s head with a snake’s tail" [ Or as we say here – ‘a toothless tiger.’ !
In the meantime the tortoise plods on its journey, ever onwards .. . … .