22 Interviews no. 38, 27, 4. See also Z. Zhao and F. Cai, “Maohe er shenli: cong chuanbo neirong de jiaodu kan xinwen yu xuanchuan de chayi” (“Apparently harmonious but actually different: difference between news and propaganda from the perspective of communication content”), Eighth National Conference on Communication Studies, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 2004.
Zhu Ya Wen is a Chinese actor. Born on April 21, 1981, he made his acting debut in the 2005 television series “Yang Guang Yu Ji.” He has since appeared in many films and television dramas, including the recent “Red Sorghum” (2014), “Say No for Youth” (2015), “Two Families” (2016), “City Still Believe in Love” (2016) and “Across the Ocean to See You” (2017). Zhu Ya Wen married actress Shen Jia Ni in 2013.
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One of the goals of media convergence in the reconstruction process is to modify the journalist–editor relationship by veering from ‘journalist-centred’ to ‘editor-centred’, such that journalists shall mainly undertake the role of information gatherer, whereas editors perform the role of information synthesiser. Regarding real news production, most new media centre editors are recruited from the members of society who are familiar with new media but inexperienced in news gathering and editing; thus, they are mere ‘stevedores’ rather than ‘processors’ of texts. Given that editors lacked the required qualifications, journalists were forced to undertake additional tasks (e.g., verifying information and converting statements from frontline journalists into text) that should have been performed by editors.
Moreover, the major criteria of the present press industry in Fujian regarding job performance of new media editors involve the read count of postings and the number of fans. From the perspective of journalists, behaviour that editors repeatedly demand from the frontline journalists includes nothing more than ensuring the timeliness of press release. Their compliance is somehow related to the job performance evaluation of the editors themselves, thereby resulting in the additional decline in the willingness for coordination.
To date, the pioneers of media convergence have been thoroughly studied by Chinese scholars. Other press groups as ‘followers’, particularly the local press groups that adopted the dominant path of media convergence, are less highlighted and rarely focused within journalism studies, although they are precisely what have crucially endowed the landscape of Chinese media convergence with regional diversity. The deficiency in relevant studies has entailed the urgent choice of Chinese scholars to focus on media convergence of the local press industry.
In September 1992, the Fifth Plenary Session of the 14th Central Committee recommended that the main direction in future adjustments of the industrial structure should be to ‘actively promote the tertiary industry’. In 1993, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council officially included the media industry in the tertiary industry in the Decisions on Accelerating Development in the Tertiary Industry, while maintaining this industry’s attributes as a propaganda and administrative institution.
The effects of the dominant path of media convergence on the mid-size press industry are the focus of this study. The path chosen by the press industry in other regions of China may differ from the dominant one in Fujian due to the nuances of power structure, level of economic development, size of press group and other factors. For example, the Nanfang Media Group’s choice of the fully transformed path has a bearing on its pioneering spirit and remarkable investment, which are derived from its distance from the centre of political power, the prosperity of the market economy in Guangdong and the surrounding areas, and the considerable assets from accumulation within the media group in the past decades (Yin and Liu, 2013). Nevertheless, Fujian’s case discloses the common challenges that the Chinese press industry will face as they further advance the convergence regardless of which path they choose. This study also develops an analytical framework based on the interplay amongst the state, media and journalists to be used in future research on China’s media convergence.