BEIJING, July 7 (Xinhua) -- Network media in China is rising from the "grass-roots" to the mainstream of the country's distribution of news, according to a blue book issued by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' journalism and communication research institute on Wednesday.
Thanks to the rapid development and growing popularity of the Internet, network media in China is playing a larger role in expressing public opinions and in the distribution of information about major news events, the blue book reported.
The blue book further said Chinese network media successfully played its role when covering the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2007, the country's relief efforts against the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008, and the annual sessions of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee and the National People's Congress in 2009.
"They showed the network media's maturation after more than ten years' of development," the blue book read.
According to Liu Ruisheng, professor with the Huazhong University of Science and Technology and one of the authors of the blue book, by March this year, China had boasted 400 million Internet users.
Despite the rapid growth of online communities, websites, blogs and social networking services websites in China, news portals remained an irreplaceable mainstream network media, Liu said.