Feed on Posts or Comments 03 June 2023

Monthly ArchiveJanuary 2010

Media newlight on 19 Jan 2010

Mary-Jess Leaverland videos

OK, for those of you wondering what’s the fuss about, here are the vidoes of Mary-Jess Leaverland, who is on the front page of today’s Guardian. Her victory in a “Chinese X Factor” competition is reported by several papers (Telegraph, Daily Mail, and Sun).

The TV singing competition is called Min Ge Chang Fan Tian (民歌唱翻天, literally means “stars from ordinary people singing over the heaven”), organised by a TV channel in Jiangsu Province.

The vidoes show the final round. At the begining the first video, three competitors were presented, then the second runner-up was out, followed by the duel between the last two who each sang the final song, before the phone-in results were announced (in the second video). Mary-Jess Leaverland was called by her Chinese name Li Meijie (李美洁) throughout.

This video shows the round before that, begining with the “grand entry” of the last three competitors. Mary-Jess Leaverland spoke Mandarin in her intro video (at 6’30”), but it looks when it came to singing, she still preferred English songs.

Media newlight on 13 Jan 2010

Will google.cn die?

On Twitter many people dismissed Global Times’s survey that 70% of its visitors support Chinese government against Google, who had just abandoned the self-imposed censorship on Google.cn and threated to close its business in China altogether.

The sad truth is that those who have made the effort of climbing over the GFW in order to access Twitter and like are belong to the 30%. In the same survey, over half the participants said their online activity won’t be affected by Google’s leave. This figure looks to increase if nothing happens.

Shanghaiist’s has a good summary of the Google v. China standoff. On the Guardian website, Tania Branigan has canvassed the opinions of some bloggers and media insiders. Whether Google decided to end its self-censorship purely out of moral reasons I’m not sure. I agree with some of Evgeny Morozov’s analysis. I guess it’s more likely they are fed up with the restraint and criticism while not seeing much gains in Chinese market.

Anyway, what Google has done is to blow it into the open, burn the bridge, making the stakes incredibly high. Now Google.cn is not censored, will the servers be forced to shut down, or moved out of China? And then what? Will Chinese government have to block Google.com as well?

Among the multinationals in China, Google is the one who has the power, influence and resources to make a clear stand on censorship. And now it has the will too. For that it should be praised.

Media newlight on 08 Jan 2010

UK almost as cold as the South Pole?

Yes it is cold out there. It hasn’t been so cold for so long for many years in the UK. Minus 20C is cold. But why the British media insist that here is “almost as cold as the South Pole”? Times put it in the headline, Guardian and Telegraph (“only 2C warmer than the South Pole”) said so. The comparison is too good to miss for Channel 4 News and BBC News as well.

The temperature at the South Pole is about -22C to -25C at the moment. It is technically true that the coldest place in the UK is only a couple of degrees warmer than the South Pole. But I’m wondering whether the journalists realised, or chose to ignore the fact that it is summer now at Antarctica?

Fun newlight on 06 Jan 2010

Firelight at Edinburgh Hogmanay

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The Firelight, a street performance and installation by French artists group Carabosse, at this year’s Edinburgh Hogmanay was a wonderful experience. I found it’s much more fun, not mention warmer, than the Prince Street New Year party.

The Royal Mile at the centre of Edinburgh Old Town is an ideal place for the “fire fountains” and torches. The historic buildings of St. Giles Cathedral and City Chamber provided a great background for all the performance. I have to admit I can’t help but wondering “how many health and safety forms these guys had to fill?” though.