QUT conference shines spotlight on China's media

July 03, 2007

The changing face of China's creative industries will be the focus of the 2007 China Media Centre Conference to be hosted by Queensland University of Technology this week (July 5-6).

The conference titled China| East Asia| Media |New Media will be held at QUT's Creative Industries Precinct at Kelvin Grove campus, and brings together leading international scholars, industry experts and creative practitioners.

Conference organiser, Dr Michael Keane, a senior fellow at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCI), said China was at a crossroads in media freedom.

"I think China is at an interesting stage in media democratisation," Dr Keane said.

"I wouldn't go out on a limb and say it is moving fast but I would say that with the approach of the Beijing Olympics in particular, the Chinese government has to be seen to be allowing a lot more liberal expression of ideas.

"What's going to happen in the Beijing Olympics is all the western media, all the anti-China groups from free Tibet to Taiwanese democracy to Falun Gong to human rights, they're all going to throw their best shots at the Chinese government.

"So the Chinese Government has two choices, they can roll with the punches and say 'okay that's fine, you've got a right to say that and we'll even report some of your ideas', or they are just going to put up a wall and go backwards."

Dr Keane said China was showing strong signs of changing its media landscape.

He said China was pushing to make its film, television, advertising and new media industries more internationally competitive.

"China is mounting a claim for a leading role in the global and regional cultural economy, drawing on its long tradition as the centre of East Asian culture."

Dr Keane said the conference would look at media, both old and new, from print to blogging.

"The focus will be on China but we will look at the bigger picture," he said.

Keynote speakers include Michael Curtin from Global Studies Centre, University of Wisconsin-Madison, author of Playing to the World's Biggest Audience and Jing Wang from MIT, the author of Brand New China: Advertising, Media and Commercial Culture.

The conference will include a business forum, exhibitions of digital animation from China and Australia, and a special panel focusing on the Beijing Olympics.
The event is supported by co-sponsors University of Westminster (UK), the Annenberg School of Communications (Pennsylvania, US), Global Studies Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison (US), and the Chinese Communication University of Communication (Beijing).

For more information visit http://cea.cci.edu.au.

Media contact - Sandra Hutchinson, QUT media officer, 61 7 3138 2130 or s3.hutchinson@qut.edu.au

Queensland University of Technology

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