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More people are turning online for session news

By Yu Ran (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-03-17 07:43
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SHANGHAI: The Internet has become the second most popular media source for local residents to get information about the annual sessions of the National People's Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), a survey has found.

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The poll, conducted by the media and public opinion research center at Fudan University, aimed at finding out how the public observed and evaluated this year's NPC and CPPCC sessions, which ended on the weekend.

"With a growing number of Internet users, the Internet has overtaken newspapers as the second most popular media tool to get information about the two sessions for the first time since we launched the survey in 2004," said Li Shuanglong, executive director of the research center.

According to the survey, the public's awareness of the two sessions increased by 4 percent over last year, while 81 percent of the interviewees expressed an interest in the two sessions in the last few weeks. Thirty-two percent of them used different means to access the news and discuss it with others.

"More people have been aware of the two sessions as the topics discussed are those of most concern in daily life. The sessions prompted thoughtful suggestions from the public in building up two-way communication in society," Li stressed.

Among the numerous topics, livelihood issues were the topics of most concern, followed by the Expo, economic development and combating corruption.

As for livelihood issues, people paid most attention to housing prices, health care, social security and revenue distribution.

Among those surveyed, 86 percent believe the proposals from NPC deputies and CPPCC members reflected public opinion. And 75 percent said they would like to speak with the deputies and members about issues they are concerned about.

"I browsed news items and online forums about the two sessions every day. Housing definitely is the top concern for everyone in Shanghai because of increasing property prices," said Wu Biren, a civil servant from the city's science and technology bureau.

"I'm also interested in how the government can balance the increase in migrant workers with the harmonious development of the city," he said.

The survey was conducted through 312 random telephone interviews with adults with different educational backgrounds in 18 districts and regions in Shanghai.

Most of the people surveyed chose the Internet as the most convenient tool to get the information that is essential to their daily lives.

"I paid attention to the news of the two sessions by searching the issues that are important to me, such as housing problems, because I plan to buy an apartment soon," said Wu Jile, manager of a steel company in Shanghai.

Some 60 percent of those surveyed said they listened, read or watched Premier Wen Jiabao's government work report and 60 percent said they paid attention to Wen's press conference, both numbers up about 5 percent from last year.

When asked about their evaluation of the two sessions, 93 percent of those surveyed were satisfied, and 57 percent were "very satisfied".