Shanghai residents embrace new ways to stay informed

By Wang Hongyi (China Daily)
Updated: 2011-03-16 08:25
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SHANGHAI - New media became an increasingly important tool during the two sessions, allowing Shanghai residents to keep abreast of the latest information from the gatherings of the National People's Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

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A survey conducted by the Media and Public Opinion Research Center at Fudan University quizzed people on how they felt about the two-week-long sessions of the country's top legislature and its premier political advisory body.

The meetings, known as the two sessions, ended on Monday.

The center polled more than 200 Shanghai-area residents with a range of educational backgrounds who were drawn from the city's 18 districts and counties. The residents were quizzed via random telephone interviews.

According to the survey, most people - more than half - stayed in touch with goings-on via the television. The next most popular medium, the Internet, was used by about 19 percent. About 7 percent relied on newspapers.

"With an increasing number of Internet users, new media, such as micro blogs and social networking websites are becoming very important means for people to get information about the two sessions," said Zhou Baohua, an assistant to the director of the research center.

Zhou told China Daily on Tuesday that traditional media, such as newspapers, are becoming less popular.

According to the survey, Shanghai residents paid close attention to this year's two sessions and public awareness of the meetings is growing.

The report said 87 percent of respondents knew about the sessions and about 36 percent of residents expressed "great interest" in the meetings.

About 55 percent said they listened, watched or read Premier Wen Jiabao's annual government work report and 57 percent said they had listened to or watched Wen's press conference held on the last day of the two sessions.

During the two-week sessions, NPC deputies and CPPCC members put forward more than 566 motions and proposals and 5,762 proposals. Among the numerous topics covered, the most popular ones among those surveyed were related to livelihood issues, which was favored by two-thirds of respondents.

That subject was followed by economic development, which was selected by about 12 percent of respondents. Combating corruption was the third with 8 percent picking it as their top issue.

Within the subject of livelihood issues, consumer prices, housing, healthcare and education were of the most concern to residents.

Among those surveyed, about 76 percent believed proposals from NPC deputies and CPPCC members had reflected public opinion.

When evaluating this year's two sessions, about 88 percent of those surveyed said they were satisfied and about 51 percent said they were "very satisfied".

"It is good to see that many NPC deputies and CPPCC members have started their own micro blogs. That's an important step to help collect public opinion and exchange more useful thoughts," said a local resident surnamed Liu.

"During the past weeks, I have browsed news on the two sessions through micro blogs every day, since many topics are very closely related to our life," said an office worker named Sam Zhang.

"I paid particular attention to the housing issue. My wife and I can't afford an ordinary apartment, which costs several million yuan in Shanghai."