These findings indicate that media convergence is never merely a technological issue. The journalists’ stance on new technologies is not sufficient to guarantee a corresponding attitude towards media convergence. To gain a comprehensive understanding of the effects of convergence, the social context, typically the media system and journalistic culture must be taken into consideration. Both of them exert great influence on journalists’ attitude towards media convergence.
Previous studies on the influence of media convergence in China either took a market- or norm-oriented approach. From a news production perspective, the current study analyses the interaction between the top-down design and bottom-up practices of journalists to disclose the influence of the dominant path of media convergence within the press industry of Fujian Province. A survey and 20 in-depth interviews show that the current media convergence practices of Fujian’s press industry fail to receive the support of journalists because of institutional, organisational and individual complexities, rather than technological reasons. This study discusses the implications of this finding for media convergence in China.
Last year or the year before, I went to the trial over a deputy mayor in Fuzhou. Only another journalist and I went to the whole course of the first trial. He (a newspaper department supervisor) demanded strictly at that time that the number of online figures could not exceed 500. Plus, the next day he scolded (another journalist) in a loud voice, ‘It’s too foolish of you to have (only) offered them the lead of the foregoing news. You should have cut out a bit from each paragraph. You giving these 500 figures to others, who would read the newspaper?’ (Interviewee No. 14)
Wénlín 4.1.1 dàiyǒu yī zhǒng chuàngxīn de héxīn jīchǔ jìshù hé chuàngzuò gōngjù, yòngyú shūrù, chuánshū hé zhǎnshì Unicode zhōng wèi bāohán de xīn zì, yìtǐzì, shēngpì zì děng Hànzì. Zìxíng Miáoshù Yǔyán (CDL) shì yī zhǒng chǔlǐ Zhōngwén, Rìwén hé Hánwén (CJK) zìtǐ hé shùjù de gèng jǐncòu, gèng gāoxiào, gèng zhǔnquè de fāngfǎ, tā de chūxiàn jiějué le cāozuò xìtǒng hé xiǎoxíng shèbèi píngtái kāifāzhěmen xīwàng jiějué de wèntí. Wénlín CDL kě chǔlǐ 3000 ge zuì chángyòng zì, xiàoguǒ yōuyú Unicode, tóngshí wúxiàn kuòzhǎn le zìfújí, wèi shìjiè qítā de yònghù tígōng le gèngduō zìyóu hé biànlì. Yǔnxǔ zhōngduān yònghù zài 4 bǎnběn zhōng shǐyòng CDL jìshù, zhè wèi géxīn CJK gōngnéng pūpíng le dàolù.
Lā Qiáolā (La Jolla), Jiālìfúníyàzhōu -- Wénlín Yánjiūsuǒ, Zhōngwén Xuéxí Ruǎnjiàn Wénlín hé CDL zìtǐ jìshù kāifāshāng, xuānbù tuīchū Wénlín Miǎnfèibǎn 4.2 bǎn. Wénlín zuìxīn de 4.2 miǎnfèibǎn ruǎnjiàn kě zài wǎngshàng (wenlinshangdian.com) miǎnfèi xiàzài. Miǎnfèi bǎnběn bāokuò sān ge cídiǎn, bāohán gòngjì 1100 duō ge cítiáo, 200 duō ge yùzhì chōurènkǎ de cíhuì xìnxī, bìng kěyǐ chuàngjiàn xīn cídiǎn; 1,400 duō ge chángyòngzì de zhú bǐ yǎnshì; jiǎntǐ, fántǐ hé pīnyīn de shìlì wénběn. Gōngnéng qiángdà de miǎnfèibǎn kě xiǎnshì chāoguò 80,000 ge Hànzì, dàiyǒu wánzhěng de Unicode 7.1 “Tǒngyī Hànzì” zìfú xiǎnshì, zhīchí de shūrù fāngshì bāokuò yīnbiāo pīnyīn zhuǎnhuàn, shǒuxiě shíbié, dāngè Hànzì yǔ fùhécí/cízǔ de pīnyīn zhuǎnhuàn.
The term ‘convergence’ was firstly presented in the 1980s (Menke et al., 2016). Convergence was used to describe the phenomenon where the boundary between different forms of communication blurred in the context of new media with a strong technical colour at the beginning. Most of the early studies on convergence were focused on the innovation of medium technology. The social influence of convergence has gradually unfolded with the development of computer technology and communications networking since the 1990s. Journalism researchers have concentrated on the production process, as well as newsroom routine and culture, thereby endowing the concept of ‘convergence’ with a unique social implication (Quinn, 2005).
In recent years, the Fujian press industry has stagnated due to frequent turnover of personnel. Given that the number of practicing journalists in this province is difficult to determine, the authors adopted the snowball sampling method by firstly contacting the persons-in-charge of the newsroom and requesting them thereafter to recruit journalists to answer the survey. Considering the particularity of the respondents’ profession, that is, having flexible working hours, two assistants were assigned to distribute the printed questionnaires before and after the plenary press conference or the newsroom convention from July to August 2015.
In 2006, the General Administration of Press and Publication of China began enforcing the first batch of the ‘China Digital Newspaper Laboratory Programs’, in which 18 national and local press groups were involved in officially unfolding the prelude of the ‘full-media convergence’, namely an intensive integration of new media into the system of traditional press. Since 2012, Chinese press industry has stepped into a ‘cold winter’. Throughout 2014 alone, the total revenue of newspaper circulation experienced a substantial decrease of 25%, with advertising revenue simultaneously decreasing by 15% (Cui and He, 2015). Several scholars suggested that vulnerable profit-making pattern, global economic recession and the decelerating growth rate of the domestic economy were the key factors for the predicament that Chinese press industry is experiencing (Zhao, 2015). However, the industry tends to ascribe the dramatic revenue decline to the prosperity of new media (cf. Cao, 2010; Zhou, 2015).
Starting from the emergence of online newspapers, traditional media departments, particularly their leadership, were rather ‘antagonistic’ against new media departments based on the concerns over newspaper circulation. Nevertheless, the competitive relationship between the two types of departments remained unclear because new media departments were situated in a relatively marginalised position inside the press industry. After media convergence along the dominant path was officially launched, original new media departments have been integrated into the new media centre. Vast financial support, manpower and material investments were put to the new media centres of the Fujian press industry, which had reinforced the position of new media department as a ‘rival’ to newspaper offices.