These findings provide an empirical foundation to organise the interview outline and the type of interviewees that should be recruited in the following interviews. More importantly, the results mentioned above indicate that journalists in Fujian do embrace new technologies. In this case, the journalists are not resisting media convergence because they have negative attitudes towards new technologies but due to institutional, organisational and value reasons, which will be discussed thoroughly in the next section.
5 See, for example, Li, C.-c., Voices of China: The Interplay of Politics and Journalism (New York: Guilford Press, 1990); Lynch, D.C., After the Propaganda State: Media, Politics, and “Thought Work” in Reformed China (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999); Esarey, A., “Cornering the market: state strategies for controlling China's commercial media,” Asian Perspective, Vol. 29, No. 4 (2005), pp. 37–83; Zhao, Y., Communication in China: Political Economy, Power, and Conflict (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008); Polumbaum, J. and Lei, X., China Ink: The Changing Face of Chinese Journalism (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008).
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)
The first phase of China’s media reform, that is, the marketisation of Chinese media, began when the State Administration of Publication on the National Press Managers’ Conference officially announced in December 1978 the decision to pursue the business operation of newspapers. Accordingly, a media system with Chinese characteristics, that is, the ‘enterprise management of institutions’, was established. In 1983, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China promulgated Document No. 37 to encourage business operation within media organisations.

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The insistence of local journalists to maintain professional boundaries results from the ideology of professionalism that has permeated throughout China’s journalism education and practice since the reform and opening-up policy. Such insistence also manifests the responsive identification of these journalists under the context in which the journalistic profession is increasingly declining (Donsbach, 2010).
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.
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.
Generally, the journalists’ reluctance to collaborate can be explained under the binary structure of ‘traditional media versus new media’, which is manifested at three levels. At the institutional level, the antithesis of traditional media versus new media is represented as the schism between ‘inside the system’ and ‘outside the system’. Given the impact of new media and the existing ideological control, the Fujian press industry has opted to sacrifice part of its economic gains for political security, which is also an option for journalists ‘inside the system’. At the organisational level, the antithesis is manifested as the enmity between the traditional and the new media departments. Divergent interests have made the leaders and journalists of metropolis newspapers less willing to cooperate with the centre compared with their counterparts from the party organs. At the individual level, the binary structure is manifested as the competition between professional journalists and other we-media runners. Faced with challenges from non-professional information providers, most journalists opt to follow their occupational boundaries and refrain from adding their voice to the new media.

The sense of crisis brought about by intense competition would permeate throughout the ranks of journalists from top to bottom. For the latter, competition with peers are normal in the condition of having multiple newspapers in the same city. However, previous rivalries were fair contests between ‘professional journalists’, whereas present struggles involve unfair competition with ‘vulgar non-professionals’.
Yóulǐkǎ (Eureka), Jiālìfúníyàzhōu -- Shéi céng xiǎng zhìzuò gènghǎo de Hànyǔ xuéxí ruǎnjiàn huì gǎibiàn Yàzhōu jìsuànjī shìjiè? Wénlín Yánjiūsuǒ fābù le zuìxīn bǎn de jiàoyù ruǎnjiàn, bìng tuīchū yī zhěngtào yòngyú chǔlǐ Zhōngwén, Rìwén hé Hánwén (CJK) zìfú de quánxīn móshì. Zhè yī qīdài yǐjiǔ de bǎnběn tuīchū zhī shí zhèngzhí Hànyǔ xuéxí kè ruǎnjiàn duǎnquē, duì jìsuànjī hé zhìnéng shǒujī kāifāzhě Yàzhōu shìchǎng de wèilái yùcè sìqǐ de shíqī. Shǒuxí zhànlüèjiā Yīlìshābái Lánzhān (Elisabeth Nuboer-Ranjan) yīzhēnjiànxiě de zhǐchū, “Wénlín duì shǒuzhǐ cāozuò shèbèi jìshù hé OCR jìshù de yǐngxiǎng jiāng huì hàndòng zhège hángyè.” Zhè shì zhōngduān yònghù de hǎo xiāoxi, dàn dāng kāifāshāng jìnxíng xiāngyìng tiáozhěng shí kěnéng huì jīfā zhèndàng.
Two alternative paths are presently available for the local press industry to thoroughly address the issue of content for new media outlets. The first path is to remove the administrative hierarchy between metropolis newspapers and party organs, with the new media centre providing news to both newspapers and new media outlets for further editing. In this case, the new media outlets are not incorporated into the new media centre but remain at the same administrative level as the traditional media departments. Hence, the vertical communication between the new media centre and various new media outlets increases, yet the horizontal interaction between newspapers and new media outlets dramatically reduces. The second path is to insulate the newspapers from converging news production, with the centre producing content independently for new media outlets.

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.
In 2001, the Publicity Department of CPC, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, and the General Administration of Press and Publication issued the Opinions on Intensifying Reform on the Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television Industry, thereby establishing media groups concurrently operating across media and regions as well as initiating comprehensive adjustment over the capital structure of media groups. In late 2003, the State Council issued the Notice on Printing and Issuing Two Regulations on Supporting the Transformation of Cultural Industry Development and that of Cultural Institutions into Enterprises in the Trail of Cultural System Reform to separate operative resources, such as the contents of social service and mass entertainment, from present institutional resources, thereby realising capitalisation. Henceforth, the gap in the domain of ownership has been further filled, and media reform has entered the capitalisation stage.
Fujian’s case indicates that new media outlets tend to be ‘domesticated’ in terms of converging news production. Firstly, a multilevel censorship system has been established, thereby ensuring that the new media content is under supervision. Secondly, new media outlets are subject to a bureaucratic style of management with low decision-making efficiency.
The historical course of China’s media reform is coincidental with the intrinsic logic of the transformation in national political ideology from contradiction theory to economy-centric theory (Li and Hu, 2013). However, this situation does not mean that political determinism would suffice to explain the China’s media reform. The transformation towards media groups did not result in mere innovation in the size, structure and managerial ideal of the media industries but also the ‘self-consciousness’ of actively promoting economic gains and the tendency to transform capitalism, ownership and other concepts into the reasonable kernel of media reform (Li and Hu, 2013). These have transcended far beyond the scope of what ‘political correctness’ can explain.

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).
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.
Li, M. (2017). Jishu chuanbo xingzhi kecheng de sheji yu shixian tansuo: yi tongji daxue shiyong yingyu xiezuoke weili (Design and practice of courses with TC features—Case study of practical english writing course at Tongji University). Shanghai Ligong Daxue Xuebao (Shehui Kexue Ban )(Journal of University of Shanghai for Science and Technology), 39(2), 101–107. [李梅. (2017). 技术传播性质课程的设计与实现探索——以同济大学实用英语写作课为例.《上海理工大学学报(社会科学版)》39(2), 101–107].Google Scholar
Despite the party-market corporatism, Lee et al. (2007) explained that significant multiplicity continues to exist in the developmental path of local media because of differences in power structure and market maturity. Guangzhou media represent the ‘market competition within party-state ideological limits’ pattern. For example, three press groups in Guangzhou compete fiercely with separate content strategies, while Guangzhou Daily and Yangchen Evening Daily cater primarily to daily life relevance and avoid ‘grand narratives’, Nanfang City Daily and Nanfang Weekend often expose official wrongdoings and advocate liberal ideas. Beijing media that are hierarchically structured in parallel to national, ministerial and municipal levels of administrative authorities compete both horizontally and vertically for power and market on behalf of their patrons and constituencies, thus represent the ‘managed diversity through a precarious of the emerging interest politics among counterbalancing power bases’ pattern. For example, as the authors put it, the supreme leader Mao had to turn to the Shanghai press to wage wars against the Beijing Daily on the eve of the period of the Cultural Revolution because his influence at that point could not fully reach the constituency of the Beijing Daily (Lee et al., 2007).

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.

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.
The convergence of the Chinese press industry is thus not merely driven by the effects of market and technological logic from the beginning, unlike in Europe and the US. Actually, administrative fiat plays a pivotal role in each stage of media convergence. In the mid- and late-1990s, the ‘touch the Internet’ (Chuwang) action of traditional news media, namely to establish online newspapers, has expanded from the top to the bottom ‘with the state as the sponsor’ and ‘national media as the leader’ (Yu, 2015). Similarly, the establishment of the collaborative relationship between newspapers and new media on news production at the beginning of the 21st century could not be realised without the intervention of administrative power, including approval for the construction of major news websites to produce original contents. The wave of media convergence that began in 2006 is also inseparable from the official ‘top-down design’. In the beginning, the General Administration of Press and Publication was concurrently the project sponsor and supervisor. Thereafter, the media convergence of the central and local press industry has been highly dependent on financial funding from the government.
Lā Qiáolā (La Jolla), Jiālìfúníyàzhōu -- Wénlín Hànyǔ Xuéxí Ruǎnjiàn hé CDL zìtǐ jìshù de kāifāzhě -- Wénlín Yánjiūsuǒ, yóu yī jiā pǔtōng qǐyè (gōngsī) zhuǎnxíng chéngwéi “shèhuì mùdì gōngsī” (SPC gōngsī). Tāngmǔ Bìxiǎopǔ (Tom Bishop) zhǔxí jiěshì le zhè yī juédìng: “Wǒmen de jiàoyù shǐmìng, cǐkè, zài fǎlǜ shang, chéngwéi le wǒmen cúnzài de gēnběn yìyì. Zhè yī xīn dìngwèi wèi ràng gèngduō de rén cānyù dào wǒmen de zǔzhī zhōng pūpíng le dàolù, tóngshí jiāng wǒmen de fāzhǎn tíshēng dào xīn de shuǐpíng. Xiànzài wǒmen yǒuquán yě bìxū zài wǒmen gōngsī de zhāngchéng zhōng guīdìng: jiàoyù jí qítā shèhuì mùdì shì wǒmen de zuìgāo zōngzhǐ.” Chúle yào kuòchōng yī zhī yōuxiù tuánduì, bāokuò cídiǎn biānzuǎn, yǔyánxué, biānchéng hé jiàoyù de dǐngjiān zhuānjiā, Wénlín Yánjiūsuǒ Gōngsī SPC dǎsuàn bǎ cídiǎn hé qítā xuéxí cáiliào fābù dào wǎngshàng, ràng quánqiú fúhé zīgé de gòngxiànzhě kěyǐ xiézuò gǎishàn bìng xiūzhèng Zhòng-Yāng zīyuánkù. Gōngsī de xīn dìngwèi biǎomíng línjìn fābù de Wénlín Hànyǔ Xuéxí Ruǎnjiàn 4.2 bǎn jiāng yǔ zhòngdà shēngjí hòu de gōngsī wǎngzhàn tóngbù lóngzhòng tuīchū.
Moreover, the decline of influence on public opinion is definitely another key factor that triggered the convergence within Chinese press industry. It is fairly illustrated in Secretary-General Xi Jinping’s ‘8•19’ speech on ‘boost the convergence between traditional and new media, and completely apply new technology in innovating the forms of media communication to seize a commanding height in the field of information communication’ (Liu, 2014). This situation is relatively similar to that of the media conglomeration in the late 1990s, when the legitimacy of reform stemmed from the policy of making domestic media ‘bigger and stronger’ to pre-empt the anticipated foreign competition in the World Trade Organization era. Meanwhile, a majority of domestic press groups were established based on administrative decrees rather than on business demands (Chen and Lee, 1998). Eliminating ‘dispersion’ and ‘chaos’ in the public opinion domain is the key factor that catalyses both media conglomeration and media convergence.
Over the past two decades, China’s media convergence has undergone three stages (Li, 2017; Yu, 2015). Stage I lasted from the mid-1990s to the late 1990s, during which the content of traditional media was transplanted onto the new media platform. Stage II began in the early years of the 21st century, during which traditional media co-produced content with new media. Stage III started in 2006 and continues to the present, during which traditional media collaborated with new media in many aspects. All the stages of media convergence concur with the conglomeration and capitalisation of Chinese media industries. China’s media reform has constituted the basic context of domestic media convergence. For the past 40 years, the main drive of China’s media reform is the state. Each critical time point of media reform cannot proceed without the propulsion of the national policy from top to bottom.
The authors adopted a semi-structural interview and provided an outline for the journalists that mainly revolved around the following nine questions: (1) When did you start using new media in your daily work? (2) What is your reason for using new media? (3) What do you think is the role of new media in news production? (4) What measures have been adopted by the press group that you are currently working for in terms of media convergence? (5) Did such measures result in changes in your daily work? If yes, what are such changes? What can you say about these changes? (6) How do you interpret the effects of media convergence on journalists based on your personal experience? (7) What is your overall evaluation of the media convergence within the press group you are working for? (8) Are you aware of the measures of other press groups in terms of media convergence? What is your opinion on their measures? (9) What can you say about the viewpoint of the local press industry that media convergence is the way out for its current predicament? Specific to the interviewees of other categories, the questions varied in terms of how they are stated and their order of arrangement.
The case study of Fujian indicates that what lies beneath the persistent tension between newspaper offices and new media departments is substantively a conflict of economic interest that results from the competitive relationship amongst various media outlets within the local press group since the period of media conglomeration. Adjusting the administrative structure cannot reduce this tension as long as the economic logic is not thoroughly challenged.
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