Issue Vol. 3, No. 1 / October 2007

Introduction: Looking at China, Looking at the Chinese Media
Author(s): Hugo de Burgh
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The study of the media is new in Europe and the study of the Chinese media even newer. More and more media courses and research agendas will include the world's most extensive national media system and the international reporting that mediates our understanding of what is happening in China. Practitioners and scholars both have become aware of the limitations of their approaches and their own cultural biases. As the Chinese media expand and change, looking both at our own coverage of China and at how the Chinese media themselves operate, becomes more rewarding. A collection such as this one is a valuable contribution to our efforts.
Reporting China: A Critical Review
Author(s): Qing Cao
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Reporting China in the mass media is a highly complex practice that can be understood at various levels. This article aims to review critically some of the broad issues in relation to Western portrayal of China, focusing on three interrelated dimensions: (1) media reporting of China as a specific mode of cultural representation, (2) reflective and constructivist perspectives in the study of Western representation of China, and (3) essentialist and non-essentialist portrayal of China. The analysis is contextualised in wider historical conditions and an assessment of previous study of Western presentation of China. It concludes that different portrayals of China reflect different understanding of China. Various images could be seen as a struggle for truth within a range of matrix of power relations. Dominant images of China at a particular historical moment reflect social conditioning of representation where the production of images occurs primarily at a societal level.
China Week on the BBC: The Media Making Knowledge and Writing History
Author(s): Mark Harrison
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In March of 2005, the British Broadcasting Corporation ran a special week of programming about China in its news and current affairs services on television and radio called \"China Week\". This paper argues that the BBC was engaged in a specific task of producing knowledge about China in which a traditional commitment to media objectivity conflicted with a self-conscious interpretation of China for a British audience. The paper suggests that in this ambiguity was a failure to understand the way the BBC was writing a Chinese history or to acknowledge the ideological implications of such a task.
Gatekeepers: A Critical Discussion about the Stereotypical Presentation of the Chinese 'Other' by British TV news
Author(s): Marc Stanton
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This article examines from a critical discussion perspective the central issues about the reporting of China by the television news media in Britain. Galtung and Ruge's theories about news relevancy have created inculcated opinions amongst the Western status quo that prejudice the presentation, comprehension, and explanation of world news events. The current presentation of China and the comprehension of China by a western audience is a stereotypical one of filial loyalty and Confusion morals. The resultant response to this is that China attempts to control access to news stories and so influence world opinion as to what it considers a proactive viewpoints. The West's presentation of China continues to comply with an earlier perceived stereotypical view of the ex-colonies. The resultant effect is that China is denied its true place in World affairs.
Advising Television Documentaries on China - An Interview with Professor Hugh Baker
Author(s): Qing Cao
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Broadcast by the Channel 4 in 1983 and 1984 in the UK and by PBS in the USA, the Heart of the Dragon is one of the longest television documentary series in the West. This 12-part series represents a comprehensive coverage of China, focusing on Chinese history, culture, religion and society. The first episode, Remembering' won the 1984 International Emmy Award. Professor Hugh Baker (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London) acted as the series' editorial consultant and organised a team of eminent Sinologists around the world to help give the programme intellectual depth. Professor Baker was also consultant for a 3-part documentary series, China Rising, broadcast by Independent Television in the UK in 1992. In order to gain an insider's view of the process of television documentary production, an interview was conducted with Professor Baker. It aims to explore historical conditions and the process of television documentary production about China, practical difficulties associated with the production, and wider issues of reporting China by the mass media. The interview was conducted by Qing Cao (QC), which was recorded and fully transcribed. Professor Baker briefly checked the transcript but the interviewer is responsible for any errors.
BBC and the China Week
Author(s): Phil Harding
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This article outlines the thinking behind a week of special BBC programmes about China on television, radio and online. It lays out the scale and scope of the very ambitious scheme, as well as the thinking behind the idea of commissioning such a season. The author describes in detail some of the political and editorial negotiations that took place and gives an overview of the BBC's strategy for future coverage of the country.
BBC World Service and the China Week
Author(s): Ruxandra Obreja
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BBC offered its global and domestic audiences a week of radio and TV coverage on China in March 2005 in order to highlight some of the contemporary issues impacting China in the world. China needed to open up to journalistic investigation, and the BBC journalists needed to understand and \"internalize\" aspects of Chinese life. As a result, the BBC audiences had a chance to enjoy the journeys, the facts, the voices, and the feeling that, together with over 60 journalists, they were in this ancient, beautiful and contradictory country. A lot of praise came the BBC way for the complex and realistic picture offered. There we those who would have liked more about the unsavoury aspects of Chinese society, who wondered if our \"season\" was not giving Beijing an easy ride. Not at all. This was just a beginning and a good way to put China firmly on the BBC's editorial agenda.
British Myopia about China: The Economic Threat to Britain from its Cultural Deficit with China
Author(s): Alistair M. Michie
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In February 2007 across Britain over 80,000 Chinese students celebrated China's \"year of the pig\" - that's a measure of the number of Chinese now studying in UK higher education. Britain needs to question why thousands of its own students are not motivated to study in China: one answer may be that they know so little about China due to almost complete neglect of China Studies and learning Mandarin in the school curriculum. This neglect is a measure of the British myopia about China. This article analyses the British myopia about China through the author's own experience of working in British politics, the UK media and through a decade of education projects designed to bring deeper understanding of China to the world. The article provides detailed evidence that suggests that a root cause of the myopia about China in Britain stems from the narrow and weak reporting of China across the whole spectrum of British media.
A Historical View of Western Reporting on China
Author(s): John Gittings
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Attitudes towards China are often polarised and those of us who \"look at China\" need to be conscious of the politicised context in which we have operated from decade to decade, and of our own misperceptions. These were most evident in the Cultural Revolution but there are still significant hidden biases behind Western attitudes towards China that waver between blind optimism and dire prediction. Since 1989 the Chinese Communist Party has retained power by rejecting its past, redefining itself as a ruling party, and becoming more representative of business and professional sectors. Economic reform has produced both winners and losers; but in spite of growing social unrest the system now generally allows more argument and dissent. We should avoid predicting either a \"miracl\" or the \"collapse\" of China, although the environmental threat could still lead to catastrophe.
Tying to Commit Journalism in China
Author(s): Jonathan Watts
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A first person account of reporting on China in the run up to the Beijing Olympics by a foreign correspondent for the UK based Guardian media group. Drawing on several high profile stories, the article describes the risks, challenges and rewards involved in newsgathering. The author discusses the changing regulatory environment, relations between central and local governments, the growing importance of the Internet, the domestic media and problems related to language and culture. Part of this is done through comparison with coverage of Japan, where the author was previously based. The paper offers suggestions for smoother coverage and attempts to convey the excitement of reporting on a country during a period of immense change.
Two Circulation Audit Cases in China - Circulation Audit Development in China and its Future
Author(s): Ying Zhao
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This thesis analyzes two Chinese media circulation audit cases with BPA: 21st Century Business Review and China Marketing. It summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of current circulation audit models in China. It applies the theory of double selling, the circulation spiral and the competitive monopoly of the media market. After analysis of the trial-run of China's local circulation audits, this paper predicts the future of circulation audits in China.
Media Democratization Should Not be the Responsible Agent for the Disaggregation of USSR
Author(s): Wu Fei and Jin-Ping Huang
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In the time from 1960 to 1970, Soviet leaders Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev and Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov had expressed their fears about futher ideology developing. But they still took traditional sloving in humanism and social antinomy.However, in 1985 Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachyov, the new General Secretary of Soviet Communist Party, did not pay much attention in existed crisis of ideology mechanism, this led to an uncontrolled disaggregation of political regime in this country. Thus, the reason of Soviet Union's collapse was not directly related to the media democratization which was regarded as part of democratic reforms to support Gorbachyov's series of policies such as Glasnost, Perestroika and acceleration of economic development. The indefinite direction and lack of concrete measures to implement reforms of the central government caused interior discontent. Media didn't play a hinge role to communicate with public but still was tool of political battle in supreme structure. We just see that ultimate purpose of the personnel alterations of media was sustaining orders of high-ranked leaders while the voices of the Party's basic member couldn't be heard and overspread in the public. Finally through media persist reporting the fact that happened, at the end public lost their confidence undersranding and patience in political power. Any of the Party's relative reforms would be always stagnated in discussions without action and results. Thus media inevitably became sacrificial lamb between renovators and conservative, where mass audience had no choice but only can be spectators in all process of the political transformation.
Role of Mass Media: Adoption and Diffusion of the Practice of Valentine in China
Author(s): Jie Xu
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The objective of this study is to explore the role mass media has played in promoting the western practice of valentine in Chinese society. To understand this, theoretical perspective of adoption and diffusion is used to explain the process of diffusion of this practice. Semi-structured interviews are used to supplement the research effort and draw conclusions regarding factors influencing the adoption of this practice. Conclusions indicate that in case of the individuals, media enthusiasm to promote this western practice is not only dually accepted and embraced but individuals also allowed themselves to be willingly influenced by the message as it conforms to their socio-psychological needs in a changing world. With respect to society, for effective diffusion of Western values and specific practices in developing countries mass media is crucial. Since the message it carries reflect a changing society and because of its ability to reach individuals belonging to all social strata to promote new values. Media creates a \"global consciousness\" in the individual and society in general, which instill a fear of being left behind. This indeed is a \"media event\" through which we ritualistically share the experience of virtually being part of a dominant global culture and community.
The Impact of Internet Usage on Adolescent Self-Identity Development
Author(s): Janet H. Long and Guo-Ming Chen
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This study examines the impact of Internet usage on the self-identity development in 10 students between the ages of 12 and 18. Using Erickson's Ego Identity Theory, the computer mediated communication (CMC) practices of students from private and public schools are evaluated through in-depth interviews. All students are frequent users of instant relay chat (IRC) and have a minimum of one year of experience with Instant Messenger. Identity development is examined using questions generated from a modified form of the Objective Measure of Ego-Identity Status developed by Adams and Ryan (2000). The four dimensions of Identity Development examined here are avoidance decision-making, identity formation, self-reflection and ego strength or fidelity. Results indicate Internet usage impacts each of these dimensions in the adolescents studied. Implications and limitations of the study are discussed.
The Ethical Dilemma of the Mass Media in Reporting International Terrorism
Author(s): Yu Xiaofeng and Li Jia
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The mass media has become an indispensable element for both terrorist activities and anti-terrorism carried out by the government and is deeply situated in an embarrassing position due to its dual characteristics. On the one hand, the mass media is a valuable strategic resource for the endeavors of anti-terrorism; on the other hand, it \"coexists\" with terrorism consciously or unconsciously to a large extent. Thus, the mass media, which boasts its independence, objectivity and justice and which should be third party to \"terrorists\" and \"governments\", is by no means the independent third party in reality. This is the \"ethical dilemma\" of the mass media in the reporting of international terrorism. The mass media should break through this difficulty under the regulations of law and ethics, and become an important force in the endeavor of anti-terrorism.
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