Such a characteristic of we-media has further squeezed the price bidding space of the new media of Fujian press industry in the area of content in local journalists’ eyes. What is worse, the procedure of three-phase censorship that deviates from the logic of new media is not strictly followed during the course of converging news production. Delays in the course of censorship have not only impaired the market competitiveness of the new media in terms of content, but also considerably reduced the willingness of journalists to collaborate with the new media centre.


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.
Focusing on the ‘top-down design’ of media convergence, market-oriented research relatively lacks in social solicitude and theoretical construction; valuing the ethics and obligations of converging media, the norm-oriented research demonstrates intense social solicitude but hardly receives industry-wide recognition. Both types of research fail to explain the full influence of media convergence. Considering that journalists are the critical actors of news production, the advancement of media convergence cannot proceed without the institutional arrangement from the top to the bottom as well as without the commitment and involvement of journalistic practitioners, particularly journalists, from the bottom to the top. The interaction between these two processes ultimately determines the scope, intensity and nature of the influences of media convergence.

The relationship between demographic factors with journalists’ attitude towards new media has been analysed in order to determine the variation among different types of journalists. The results of the ANOVA test indicate that gender and degree of education make no difference to the respondents’ perception about the changes or to their evaluation of new media; the type of newspaper makes no difference to the former but does influences the latter (F = 13.107, df = 1, p < .01). The results of the correlation analysis indicate that the respondents’ ages and years at work are uncorrelated to their perception but positively correlated to their evaluation of new media (r = 0.235, p < .001; r = 0.185, p < .01). Although local journalists in Fujian have generally recognised the changes brought about by new media to newspapers, those from metropolis newspapers were more inclined to provide a negative evaluation to these changes than those from party organs, whilst the older and more experienced the journalists were, the more positive evaluation they tended to provide to new media.

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.


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.
The majority of the scholarly analyses of convergence under the culture-oriented perspective have focused on its effects on routines, skills and roles. Several studies indicate that media convergence has changed the routine of information gathering, editing and reporting within newsrooms (Phillips et al., 2009); made journalistic practices considerably stressful with the emergence of multiskilling (Wallace, 2013) and posed severe challenges on the traditional roles of news media, such as ‘gatekeeper’ (Williams and Delli Carpini, 2000) and ‘agenda-setter’ (Quandt and Singer, 2009), as the tendency of convergence between professional- and user-produced content becomes increasingly appreciable. Other studies that employed the same approach indicate that although journalists are confronted with multiple challenges, they do not necessarily take a negative stance to evaluating media convergence. Accordingly, the degree of media convergence (Saltzis and Dickinson, 2008) and size of a media organisation (Mishra, 2014) can affect the perceptions journalists have on convergence journalism, thereby affecting their attitude towards media convergence.

From the viewpoint of local journalists, news from the Fujian press industry was originally highly homogenised and lacked competitiveness. After the three-phase censorship of new media was institutionalised, risks from converging news production declined, but the timely release of information was weakened and the opportunity for journalistic autonomy has decreased as well. When covering politically sensitive social events, the freedom of speech of the new media was equally limited relative to others within the press industry and was occasionally even more restricted than that of newspapers.


59 95% confidence interval ranged between 55 and 90%. Old Wang is only 33% likely to read commercialized papers (95% confidence ranged between 24 and 42%). A dummy variable for having travelled to countries in Europe or North America was dropped from the analysis, because it predicted the use of commercialized papers perfectly. Results can be retrieved from the author upon request.

It is further revealed in this study that the newsroom routines, multiskilling and other factors that significantly affect the attitude of journalists in European and American countries towards media convergence do not sufficiently account for the reluctance of Chinese journalists. The latter is ascribed to the institutional, organisational and individual complexities of the Chinese press industry, within which the competition for market between the traditional and new media departments is implicitly permitted as long as it does not threaten the bottom line of political safety, and the ideology of professionalism with which the journalists identify provides the justification for their willingness to confront the severe challenges from the non-professional information providers (e.g., we-media) by collaborating with the new media centre.
Therefore, faced with the challenges from we-media runners who have seized advantages in the information communication domain in recent years, local journalists choose to fall back on the principle of objectivity to defend the increasingly blurring boundary between professional and non-professional information providers. The resistance to collaboration thereby demonstrates the journalists’ identification with the ideology of professionalism.
Focusing on the ‘top-down design’ of media convergence, market-oriented research relatively lacks in social solicitude and theoretical construction; valuing the ethics and obligations of converging media, the norm-oriented research demonstrates intense social solicitude but hardly receives industry-wide recognition. Both types of research fail to explain the full influence of media convergence. Considering that journalists are the critical actors of news production, the advancement of media convergence cannot proceed without the institutional arrangement from the top to the bottom as well as without the commitment and involvement of journalistic practitioners, particularly journalists, from the bottom to the top. The interaction between these two processes ultimately determines the scope, intensity and nature of the influences of media convergence.
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