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Unprecedented online coverage of Bo Xilai's trial

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail CNTV, August 24, 2013
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The Jinan intermediate people’s court has taken the unprecedented step of posting live updates of Bo Xilai’s trial, via its Sina Weibo account -- China’s version of Twitter.

The court microblog has proved popular, with around 400 thousand followers, and rising. It’s being seen as a sign that the Chinese judicial system is aiming at greater transparency, in the age of digital new media.

The first open trial for such a high ranking official.

It’s grabbing attention both home and abroad and looks set to become a landmark for judicial transparency.

Bo Xilai’s trial has been widely reported in the media. The headlines of many newspapers are focused on the trial. Making information open and transparent is a part of China’s efforts to fight against corruption. And this time, the public is involved in a more timely manner as they can get the latest updates in the case via the live micro-blog feed. Updates which disclose proceedings of the court detail by detail, minute by minute.The court’s microblog account is a major source of information on the trial proceedings.

Transcripts of cross-examinations, courtroom pictures, audio recordings, and even a video of Bo Xilai’s wife’s testimony, have all been posted.

The number of followers of the court’s Weibo account stands at several hundred thousand and rising with many updates being reposted.

It’s also a platform for people to give their reactions to the unfolding events.

Some say the trial shows the central government’s determination to fight corruption.

Others say it reflects the rule of law and the confidence of the court.

Expectations are high.

Analysts believe that above all else, it shows the court is confident about coming under public scrutiny.

The Weibo posts mark a step forward in China’s judicial transparency. Many hope it signifies a long term trend, in the advancement and open-ness of China’s legal system.


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