Internet a Land of Opportunity for Chinese Cartoonists

As China’s online population of netizens continues to grow, NPR reports that Chinese cartoonists have used the web as a platform to take aim at the Communist Party as never before:

Political cartoons have emerged over the years as the Chinese media have become more commercial, and the Internet and microblogs have exploded.

“This has dramatically changed the environment for cartoonists,” says David Bandurski, a researcher with the University of Hong Kong’s China Media Project. “They now have a really good platform to find an audience.”

Bandurski follows 20 to 30 cartoonists on social media, but suspects there are many more. He says the Communist Party still has ultimate control over media here, but the digital revolution and decentralized power have created openings for freer expression.

“This is what we call chaos,” he says, “and in this chaos, there is a lot you can do.”

And some things you can’t.

One Chinese cartoonist, Hexie Farm (蟹农场), has teamed up with China Digital Times to produce a series of weekly cartoons which are published exclusively on CDT.