Speak about government and the media in Harvard University

Zhengrong Hu (from left) of the Communication University of China speaks about government and the media as Kevin Ryan, Sunshine Hillygus, and Diane Francis listen at a Taubman Center gathering.

(Staff photo Jon Chase/Harvard News Office)

By Rob Meyer
Kennedy School Communications

Zhengrong Hu, a professor at the Communication University of China, focused his research on the Chinese press and the factors that might influence future government policy relating to the media. It is uncertain and difficult to forecast, Hu said, adding that press freedoms in China are often “two steps forward, one step back.”

Hu described how the government attempts to manage the media by sending out directives regarding content. But, he said, events such as the SARS epidemic and the recent toxic river spill, and the extensive press coverage both stories received throughout the country, demonstrate how impossible it is to control all of the news.