At first glance, new media forms such as internet blogs seem unrelated to the preservation of cultural relics. However, yesterday, at the First Yangtze River Delta Young Scholars Forum of Journalism and Communication in Suzhou, quite a few of the attending scholars were quick to point out how electronic media and cultural relics can become “close friends” in that media can be used to bring the status of cultural relics to people’s attention and to elicit support from the citizenry for their preservation.
The forum, held by Phoenix Communication College of Soochow University, on the theme "Media, City, and Culture," attracted about 40 young scholars from more than ten cities in the Yangtze River Delta region including Suzhou, Shanghai, Nanjing, and Hangzhou. The scholars brought with them many new research findings on topics such as the shaping of a city’s image, the influence on society of the animation culture, the construction of the cultural system of television dramas, and the function of new media in social management and the preservation of cultural relics.
Professor He Zhenbiao, a scholar from the Ningbo Institute of Technology, Zhejiang University, spoke about his investigation of the case of the Ningbo Ling Bridge and explained how he had analyzed the function of Microblog in the protection of this cultural relic. He commented that the Ningbo Ling Bridge, which was constructed by the German firm Siemens, was completed in 1936. At that time, it was considered to be one of China’s most modern structures. Beginning around end of 2012 and continuing until now, the plan to widen and overhaul the Ningbo Ling Bridge has been a hot topic on Microblog. This has influenced the local government to collect expert advice about the bridge renovation project from local sources, as well as to organize an Exchange Symposium to gather opinions on the matter from the public. At this point in time, the original renovation scheme has been modified and the plan to widen the bridge has been called off.
For this example, we can see how new media such as Microblog can indeed be a friend of cultural relics by supporting their protection and making a real difference in people’s lives.