Issue Vol. 8, No. 3 / July 2012

Symposium on Indigenous Scholarship
Author(s): Patrice M. Buzzanell, Guo-Ming Chen, Yoshitaka Miike, and Robert Shuter
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The trend of globalization has led to a strong demand for the culture-specific or emic approach in scholarly research. It is the purpose of this paper to provide an opportunity for scholars to have their voices on the issues of indigenous scholarship. The paper consists of four essays examining the theme from four aspects, namely, the centrality of culture and communication, the Asiacentric communication paradigm, the development of Chinese communication theories, and an indigenous view of the study of resilience. It is hoped that the paper will contribute to the better understanding of indigenous scholarship and further provide a possible direction for the future investigation in this line of research. [China Media Research. 2012; 8(3): 1-10]
From a Local TV to a Broadcasting Conglomerate: A Regional Chinese Media Company's History, Development and Struggle
Author(s): Li Pu and Jennifer Foster
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This study aims to explore challenges and conflicts facing China’s regional broadcast companies from an interdisciplinary perspective, combining approaches from the political economy of media studies and organization strategy. It explains how encroachment of transnational media corporations and the process of marketization in the 1990s led to changes in the structure of Chinese media organizations. The Chinese government has responded to these challenges by consolidating its broadcasting industry and integrating the country's fragmented television markets. First, the paper reviews relevant literature about structural reform of the Chinese broadcasting industry and media corporations’ diversification strategy. Then, two major theoretic frameworks that shaped this study are discussed. Finally, the paper outlines the organizational structure of Chongqing Broadcasting Group and its strategy to reduce environmental uncertainties from a resource-dependence perspective. [China Media Research. 2012; 8(3): 11-23]
A Test of Two Smoking Prevention Messages for Chinese Adolescents
Author(s): Mary J. Bresnahan & Jie Zhuang
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The goal of this study was to develop and test the impact on Chinese adolescents of a culturally appropriate value-matched smoking prevention message based on family obligation compared to a valuemismatched and a control message. Adolescent girls were affected by the family obligation message showing more disapproval of smoking, more smoking resistance efficacy, less enjoyment of smoking, and fewer misconceptions about the health risks of smoking. These results are encouraging as young women represent a lucrative growth market for the sale of cigarettes in China. The family obligation message also showed some limited results for males. Males are in an environment that validates and encourages them to smoke. In the next several years, many young men and some young women in this study are likely to start a lifetime of smoking. The challenge that remains at the end of this study is how to persuade young Chinese males, in particular, to change their approval for smoking. [China Media Research. 2012; 8(3): 24-32]
Retrospect, Reflection and Prospects: Cultural Studies in China
Author(s): Xihua Zhang
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With the introduction of western cultural studies such as Frankfurt School and Birmingham School to China, cultural studies has emerged in Chinese academic research fields with abundant translation of western works and local research achievements. In 1990s Chinese scholars armed with the theories and ideas of the above two main western schools gradually formed two comparatively opposite lineups. A hubbub of voices of criticism and praises arose. During the period of 30 years of cultural studies in China there are some achievements. It has gradually established international contacts and began to question and criticize overseas cultural studies and has initiated the process of their localization. Chinese scholars gradually command cultural studies as a critical theory. Cultural studies in China is still in a relatively isolated status. It does not have an obvious feature of de-discipline and holds a contradictory attitude towards popular culture. Scholars should regard both elite and popular cultures as different cultural forms of multi-culturalism and recognize their validity. Only by doing this, can the insufficiencies in cultural studies of both the Frankfurt and Birmingham Schools be avoided and cultural studies of Chinese feature can be recognized. [China Media Research. 2012; 8(3): 33-41]
Managing Life Predicaments: Strategic Cultural Identification by Chinese Overseas Online Commentators(COOCs)
Author(s): Haibin Dong
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This research documents how Chinese overseas online commentators (hereafter COOCs) enact their strategic cultural identification through disseminating ideas of cultural principles and communication strategies. Strategic cultural identification here is defined as the affirmation of group membership through the discussion of strategies or steps of action deemed necessary for successful adaptation to life in an intercultural context. Three most salient categories of predicaments are identified: 1) The effects of China’s historical burdens on contemporary Chinese culture; 2) the academic quandaries of Chinese students overseas; 3) ethnic and racial crimes against Chinese victims. Dealing with historical burdens, some stress memorization while some value oblivion. Around the two selected stories of intercultural conflict in academic settings, four main cultural strategies are proposed by COOCs reflecting the cultural principles of cultural enhancement (knowing the system and learning to accommodate) and cultural inertia (keeping a low profile and lessening the cultural core). Responding to cases of Chinese victimization, COOCs attempt to manage their cultural shame by downplaying the cultural representativeness of the specific cases and proposing preventive strategies such as emphasizing avoidance and endurance and improving cultural image. Enacting strategic cultural identification, COOCs show their awareness of intercultural challenges and offer strategic advice for coping with the perceived negative dimensions of Chinese identity in foreign context. [China Media Research. 2012; 8(3): 42-51]
Interface Between Media, Democracy and Development
Author(s): Vineet Kaul
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This study looks into the concept of media, development and democratization as they are understood within the present context and the role played in promoting and sustaining them. I have tried to give a comprehensive and critical account of the theoretical changes in communication studies from the early theories. To most of the developing world, democratisation is transculturation - a process by which Western democracy is transformed for self-aggrandisement. In the age of globalisation, the media are potentially important sources of international and domestic referencing. Media and democratisation are mutually reinforcing, one being constituted by the other. The roles of the media in a society are very much defined by its mode of media control, which varies mainly with its power structure. With concentrated power, the media tend to demote democracy; the opposite is true when equity reigns. Media can perform both positive and negative functions in regard to democracy, depending on the prevailing mode of power distribution and specific social and organisational contexts. Each mode of media control and the corresponding media roles may shift as power is restructured. Media usually assume a more emancipatory role as the power structure becomes more decentralised or divisive.
It examines two main currents of thought. The first: the ways in which the media can be used to effect change and development. It traces the evolution of thinking from attempts to spread 'modernity' by way of using the media through to alternative perspectives based on encouraging participation in development communication. There are many factors which can enhance the development and the democratization process in society and media education is one such factor. There is a crucial link between media, development and the democratization of society and their relevance must be seen in relation to the extent to which they promote the developmental and democratic aspirations of the majority of the people .This paper examines the validity of this assumption and explains how media education can enhance the democratization and development. [China Media Research. 2012; 8(3): 52-64]
The Image of China in Hong Kong Media: Content Analysis of the Coverage in three Hong Kong Newspapers
Author(s): Chen Wei
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This study examines the representation of the image of China by three Hong Kong newspapers— Ming Pao, Sing Tao Daily and Apple Daily in 2005, 2008 and 2010. With a brief review of national image, the social construction theory and contemporary media system in Hong Kong, a quantitative content analysis was conducted in terms of news themes and favorability differences. Findings show that coverage of China has increased over time; the tone of reports varies according to different content categories. The construction of this image is a result of the interplay between political pressures and economic forces coupled with professionalism and commercialism of Hong Kong media. [China Media Research. 2012; 8(3): 65-71]
The Bodies of Chinese Women Gymnasts in the Beijing Olympics
Author(s): Micky Lee
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By examining women gymnasts' bodies in the Beijing Olympics, this paper aims to do two things. First, it will aim to fill in a void in the literature of Chinese Studies and Communication by looking at Chinese press coverage of Chinese athletes. Secondly it will illustrate and critique how women's bodies are used to achieve nationbuilding. The paper works to reach these goals and to challenge existing knowledge about Chinese women's bodies and women athlete's bodies by employing a Third World/transnational feminist perspective. [China Media Research. 2012; 8(3): 72-80]
Who Are Intending to Upgrade Their Mobile Phones? An Investigation among Chinese Young People
Author(s): Zhen Sun, Honglei Ju, and Sen Zhang
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This study describes Chinese young people’s mobile phone use behaviors, intrinsic gratifications, and intentions to upgrade their mobile handsets and explores the relationships among these variables. The results show that they use mobile phones mostly for text messaging and voice calling and mainly seek for the accessibility and convenience gratification. Young people’s intentions to upgrade to a newer model handset are positively related to the entertainment and relaxation gratification and the time lengths of respondents’ ownership of their current mobile phones. The study suggests that the mobile handset upgrade agenda is mainly set by mobile users, not by a featurism-oriented market. [China Media Research. 2012; 8(3): 92-101]
Australian Chinese Daily not for Australian Chinese?
Author(s): Kang Liu
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Australian Chinese newspapers are a significant but under-researched topic in global media arena. This paper investigates what role Australian Chinese newspapers play for Australian Chinese people by an example – Australian Chinese Daily (ACD). The content analysis on ACD’s main news pages (2006-2008) shows that the daily published plentiful news especially Australian news, which demonstrates the information and integration roles. But China news, especially the news reporting Australian Chinese people, occupies very limited proportions. Furthermore, the news on Australian Chinese people contains a large number of negative news. Subsequently, a case study was conducted on three significant negative events occurring on the Australian Chinese. The results show that ACD covered these negative events, but there was no editorial, in-depth or exclusive report. Together with content analysis and case study, a salient disadvantage of ACD is a lack of “local surveillance role”, which is would be the most important role for Australian Chinese people. [China Media Research. 2012; 8(3): 102-115]
Chinese Media Going Global: Issues of Perception and Credibility
Author(s): Mingsheng Li, Frank Sligo
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China has emerged as the world’s second largest economy. However, there is great disparity between the country’s strength in international economic markets and its weakness in the international media market. The Chinese government has invested billions of dollars to invigorate its global media industry, undertake a global media push to project a new international image as a responsible and peaceful global player, gain and enhance its soft power, and create global rivals to some key players in the media industry, such as CNN, BBC, and Al Jazeera. Chinese public diplomacy strategies to create and shape perceptions of Western audience, however, often generate mixed responses. On the one hand, the Chinese international media push offers the Western audience a different perspective and a diversity of voices in the pluralistic world order. On the other hand, Western audiences, along with others, are sceptical about the motives, propaganda functions, and credibility of what they hear. The Chinese strict official media censorship and the one-party state create fears and scepticism about editorial integrity, objectivity and media freedom. This article seeks to examine the fundamental issues that have caused mixed responses towards Chinese global media expansion. It will also propose some strategies to deal with some of the key issues to explore what is needed to help Chinese media to win influence with a critical global audience. [China Media Research. 2012; 8(3): 116-127]
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