Assignment #2 – Media and Sovereignty

In China, TV is heavily monitored by the government.  Children’s programming is especially monitored.  In China, children’s programming is extremely educational.  Even some Chinese citizens believe that the programming is to boring and no fun.  Just recently, The Kids Choice Awards, presented by Nickelodeon, was aired in China.  The Kids Choice Awards is an awards show for kids show in America.  There were many restrictions placed on Nickelodeon while airing the show.  For example, much burping and farting, which was aired on the show in America, was edited out of the program when aired in China.  Children in China are taught to act respectful at all times.  The government would not allow Chinese children to be exposed to such absurd behavior.  The children in China loved even this dulled down version of the Kids Choice Awards.  They took a strong liking to the idea of “sliming” people.  A green slime is poured on people repeatedly during the show (trademark of Nickelodeon).  However, the government and many parents were not happy about the sliming of adults on the show.  Children on the show were also featured smacking adults in the head with balloon bats.  In China, respecting elders is a strong value in their culture.  A child sliming an adult or smacking an adult in the head with a balloon bat, is seen as a sure sign of disrespect among Chinese culture.  While children in China may adore these kids of shows, Chinese government would not.

Viacom, a US company (mostly concerned with children programming), is trying to attract China’s youth with programming that is anti-authoritative.  Chinese television is completely run by the state.  This makes negotiating more challenging for foreign media companies.  Chinas government has recently been placing more restrictions on foreign media companies.  China is so appealing to international media companies because of its population

I can understand why Chinese government would be skeptical of “Western” children’s programming.  Childhood obesity is on the rise in America.  Children are always being criticized for watching too much TV in America.  Studies have shown that American TV is too violent and that children are negatively affected by television.  Maybe keeping children’s programming boring is the way to go.  Children watch less TV in China.  Programming is more educational.  Maybe Chinese government is right for not wanting to expose children to farting, burping and disrespecting elders.  In Chapter 36 of The Globalization Reader, Monroe E. Price discusses how states are responsible for protecting norms and values of its society.  Maybe by not exposing Chinese children to Western TV, the Chinese government is doing just that.

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4 Responses to “Assignment #2 – Media and Sovereignty”

  1. I can see that a possible reason why the children in America are the way they are can be because of what they are exposed to, including how much TV they watch and what they watch. I agree with you on the fact that the Chinese government is making a smart move on wanting to monitor what exactly is shown on the TV shows there so they won’t have them end up like the American children. This is the sad truth, but there’s not much we can do in America at this point to change how it is.

  2. Prof. Hala says:

    Interesting, instructive case study, on an area of programming I knew little about. The info about Viacom’s plans is useful.

    After listening to the audio podcast describing how recent immigrants from China are recognizable by their public spitting, the government’s concern with (American-style) burping and farting is a bit ironic.

  3. nviaggio100 says:

    This is very interesting, but i do not agree that the government should restrict media. It should be up to the parents discretion whether or not to allow the child to watch these type of tv shows. I grew up watching shows like that and even worse shows and i am fine as far as i know. The government should not be a nanny state and treat its citizens like children.

  4. msheridan100 says:

    Although I can understand why China censors children’s television, I do not think that the state should have the authority to decide what children can and cannot view. This should be the job of the parents. For example, I do not believe that children’s programming is beneficial to their development; therefore I will not let my kids watch TV. However if the government tried to make that decision for me, I would be very upset. I do agree with China implementing more educational programs though. Young children are very receptive to what they see and hear on TV, and I think American programming does more to hurt their mental and emotional development that it does to help it.