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More than Mouthpieces - Emerging News Norms in the Chinese Press

Törnquist, Lina (2006)
Department of Political Science
Abstract
This case-study explores the changing norms guiding news production in the People's Republic of China. Through a content analysis of bird flu coverage in three best-selling Guangzhou newspapers (the Guangzhou Daily, the Yangcheng Evening News and the Southern Metropolis Daily), the news coverage of the bird flu is compared to the Party news genre, previously dominant in China in which news is reported from the perspective of the Party and chosen on the grounds of its relevance to the tasks of the Party. Working from a model of normative change proposed by Piotr Sztompka, the content analysis suggests that although Party news norms are still significant to news production in China, these norms are often evaded in favor of more marketable... (More)
This case-study explores the changing norms guiding news production in the People's Republic of China. Through a content analysis of bird flu coverage in three best-selling Guangzhou newspapers (the Guangzhou Daily, the Yangcheng Evening News and the Southern Metropolis Daily), the news coverage of the bird flu is compared to the Party news genre, previously dominant in China in which news is reported from the perspective of the Party and chosen on the grounds of its relevance to the tasks of the Party. Working from a model of normative change proposed by Piotr Sztompka, the content analysis suggests that although Party news norms are still significant to news production in China, these norms are often evaded in favor of more marketable alternatives. The inclusion of negative news, infotainment, consumer segments, editorials and investigative journalism in the material analyzed suggests that macro-level change is resulting in more diversified information mediated by China's news outlets. However, innovation in news practice is tempered by restrictions imposed by for example Chinese media policy, the market, ownership structures and vested interests of local authorities. The result is a patchwork of differing news norms functioning side-by-side in Guangzhou's booming media industry. (Less)
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@misc{1329914,
  abstract     = {This case-study explores the changing norms guiding news production in the People's Republic of China. Through a content analysis of bird flu coverage in three best-selling Guangzhou newspapers (the Guangzhou Daily, the Yangcheng Evening News and the Southern Metropolis Daily), the news coverage of the bird flu is compared to the Party news genre, previously dominant in China in which news is reported from the perspective of the Party and chosen on the grounds of its relevance to the tasks of the Party. Working from a model of normative change proposed by Piotr Sztompka, the content analysis suggests that although Party news norms are still significant to news production in China, these norms are often evaded in favor of more marketable alternatives. The inclusion of negative news, infotainment, consumer segments, editorials and investigative journalism in the material analyzed suggests that macro-level change is resulting in more diversified information mediated by China's news outlets. However, innovation in news practice is tempered by restrictions imposed by for example Chinese media policy, the market, ownership structures and vested interests of local authorities. The result is a patchwork of differing news norms functioning side-by-side in Guangzhou's booming media industry.},
  author       = {Törnquist, Lina},
  keyword      = {Political and administrative sciences,Samhällsvetenskaper,Social sciences,normative change,norm,media,China,avian influenza,bird flu,Statsvetenskap,förvaltningskunskap,Press and communication sciences,Journalistik,kommunikation},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {More than Mouthpieces - Emerging News Norms in the Chinese Press},
  year         = {2006},
}