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Citizen Journalism and Cyberactivism in China’s Anti-PX Plant in Xiamen, 2007–2009


Using the case of the Xiamen anti-paraxylene (PX) plant movement, this article investigates the evolving phenomenon of citizen journalism with Chinese characteristics in the information age, with a focus on ICT-empowered environmental activism and the implications of citizen journalists on China’s sociopolitical development. It is argued that enhanced public participation and environmental rights defences are developing effectively in China. The increase in alternative information available online through internet-mediated bloggers as well as citizen journalists is posing a formidable challenge to both the Communist Party of China’s propaganda-filled media environment and its effective governance. Furthermore, the net’s sociopolitical impact in China will be shaped and determined less by the intrinsic nature of the internet itself than by the underlying political dynamics of public opinion, civil participation, citizen journalism and cyber-activism.

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