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The story of Qi Shi Ma: Online discussion and community engagement in urban China
Unformatted Document Text:  - 11 - Table 1 compares the number of local newspaper and online threads. In total, all 16 news pieces were factual descriptions. Two newspaper reports covered the news on May 8, 2009, with quotes from witnesses, photos of the scene, the driver and his friends. On May 10, 2009, there was one article featuring interviews with the victim’s family and the driver’s friends. On May 14, there was one article about the driver’s parents’ jobs. It clarified that they operated a small local clothing company and were not serving in government. On August 1, 2009, there was an interview with the driver after he was sent to jail. The remaining articles were official news releases from the police or the city government. In summary, stories in the newspaper covered the driver and the victim as individuals. They simply reported the government’s official announcements without mentioning related social discussions. After the trial, DATE?, no more news coverage mentioned this case. [Table 1 here] On the other hand, all three general themes were shown online. Related threads started one hour after the accident, on May 7, 2009, and continued to October 21, 2010, 18 months after the accident. For the factual description theme, forum users provided more information than the newspaper did. Users posted their eyewitness reports immediately after the accident and ahead of the newspaper. They disclosed the driver’s family information and proposed their estimation of the car’s speed, based on available photos and news reports of the scene. The memorial ceremony for the victim was only disclosed online. That thread included photos, videos and texts. It was clicked 414,799 times and got 7,452 posts. However, there was no news story about the ceremony in the newspaper. Online discussion and community engagement in urban China

Authors: Liu, Zhengjia.
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- 11 -
Table 1 compares the number of local newspaper and online threads. In total, all 
16 news pieces were factual descriptions. Two newspaper reports covered the news on 
May 8, 2009, with quotes from witnesses, photos of the scene, the driver and his friends. 
On May 10, 2009, there was one article featuring interviews with the victim’s family and 
the driver’s friends. On May 14, there was one article about the driver’s parents’ jobs. It 
clarified that they operated a small local clothing company and were not serving in 
government. On August 1, 2009, there was an interview with the driver after he was sent 
to jail. The remaining articles were official news releases from the police or the city 
government. In summary, stories in the newspaper covered the driver and the victim as 
individuals. They simply reported the government’s official announcements without 
mentioning related social discussions. After the trial, DATE?, no more news coverage 
mentioned this case. 
[Table 1 here]
On the other hand, all three general themes were shown online. Related threads 
started one hour after the accident, on May 7, 2009, and continued to October 21, 2010, 
18 months after the accident. 
For the factual description theme, forum users provided more information than 
the newspaper did. Users posted their eyewitness reports immediately after the accident 
and ahead of the newspaper. They disclosed the driver’s family information and proposed 
their estimation of the car’s speed, based on available photos and news reports of the 
scene. The memorial ceremony for the victim was only disclosed online. That thread 
included photos, videos and texts. It was clicked 414,799 times and got 7,452 posts. 
However, there was no news story about the ceremony in the newspaper.
Online discussion and community engagement in urban China


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