Posted by: Third Tone Devil | 9 April 2008

Rebecca MacKinnon on the predicament of multinational Internet content providers

A propos of the controversy about Western reporting on Tibet, Rebecca MacKinnon (now a professor of media in Hong Kong, formerly a CNN journalist) comes to this conclusion:

I’m actually starting to think that over the long run it may turn out to be impossible for multinationals to run commercially successful local news and user-generated content portals in local markets other than their home markets.

What brings her to this is the situation of content providers like Yahoo.cn — on the one hand, complying with Chinese regulations that prohibit news items from anywhere other than the New China News Agency, and on the other, exposed to the wrath of US public opinion, Congress, and shareholders who have recently slammed it for displaying a list of Tibetans wanted by the Chinese government (and earlier for cooperating with authorities in the capture of an online dissident, Shi Tao).

Yet another ironic comment on the Internet as the global medium!

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