To date, only a few studies have evaluated the influences of media convergence from a Chinese journalists’ perspective. Limited research has reflected the equivocal attitude of journalists towards media convergence and disclosed various factors that affect journalists’ attitude. Chan et al. (2006) conducted a survey involving full-time journalists in Shanghai and Hangzhou and indicated that journalistic websites founded by traditional media have higher credibility than their counterparts founded by commercial portal website. However, the perceived credibility of mainstream media organisations’ websites and commercial portals varies with the beliefs of journalists on journalism. A case study of the Shenzhen Newspaper Group conducted by Yin and Liu (2014) revealed a pessimistic view of media convergence from this organisation’s journalists and emphasised that the analysis of media convergence in non-Western countries must be contextualised within the relationship between state and media. Based on previous studies, a conclusion can be drawn as follows: To provide an insight into the effects of media convergence on the Chinese press industry, the relationship among state, media and journalists should be considered.
A professional company was commissioned to transcribe the anonymously processed materials. The tape scripts were then analysed in three phases. Firstly, a preliminary coding was accomplished by performing a line-by-line coding of the transcription as well as by defining the segments relevant to the issues under investigation. Secondly, new codes were formed by synthesising the preliminary codes, with focus laid on frequently occurring segments. Lastly, the new codes, between which the association was explored, were rearranged where it was used as basis for the construction of a consistent theoretical exposition.
Males and females accounted for 49.6% and 50.4%, respectively, of the total number of respondents. The respondents with a degree of and below junior college accounted for 1.8%, those with bachelor’s degree accounted for 83.5% and those with a master’s degree or above accounted for 14.7%. Among the respondents, 33.2% came from party organs, whilst 66.8% came from metropolis newspapers. The mean age of the respondents was 31 years old (M = 30.63, SD = 6.35) and the mean number of years at work was 8 (M = 7.62, SD = 6.50).
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.
The impetus for junior journalists to participate in the converging news production is the same consideration that prevents senior journalists from collaborating with the new media centre, that is, to achieve the balance between gain and cost. The industry and the journalists ‘inside the system’ (tizhinei) are likely to opt for political safety over financial return, whereas their counterparts ‘outside the system’ (tizhiwai) ascribe considerable importance to the latter than the former.
Debates on the social influence of information technology have constantly been conducted around the ‘technology and democracy’ theme. The introduction of information technology, particularly the Internet, was once lauded with immense optimism and was thought to provide journalists with substantial latitude of free speech. Unfortunately, the media convergence of the Fujian press industry clearly demonstrates that the tensions between politics and technology fail to generate significant journalistic freedom in the Chinese local press industry. In fact, the logic of technology has been incorporated into the political logic such that new media outlets have assimilated the structure and routines of traditional media. This tendency is not unique to the dominant path of media convergence but prevails in every local press industry that is in pursuit of converging news production. Accordingly, the effects of such development on the ecology of China’s journalism must be further explored.
The impetus for junior journalists to participate in the converging news production is the same consideration that prevents senior journalists from collaborating with the new media centre, that is, to achieve the balance between gain and cost. The industry and the journalists ‘inside the system’ (tizhinei) are likely to opt for political safety over financial return, whereas their counterparts ‘outside the system’ (tizhiwai) ascribe considerable importance to the latter than the former.
Whereas the day-to-day operation of the new media outlets are gradually involved into the political orbit of the Chinese media system, there is a barrier to the convergence which arises from the competitive relationship between the traditional and new media departments for more resources and market rewards yet to be surmounted. The new media centre has difficulty in gaining the support of newspapers, particularly metropolis newspapers in content production, which may accelerate the adjustment of the administrative structure within the local press industry.
Males and females accounted for 49.6% and 50.4%, respectively, of the total number of respondents. The respondents with a degree of and below junior college accounted for 1.8%, those with bachelor’s degree accounted for 83.5% and those with a master’s degree or above accounted for 14.7%. Among the respondents, 33.2% came from party organs, whilst 66.8% came from metropolis newspapers. The mean age of the respondents was 31 years old (M = 30.63, SD = 6.35) and the mean number of years at work was 8 (M = 7.62, SD = 6.50).

Say (there is) a fire disaster, which is often reported as an explosion. We often rush to fire disasters, chatting and interviewing with firemen on the site, (to know) there are lots of detonations in fire disasters. Even if not all detonations correspond to explosion, people who have not experienced the scene would likely label the sound ‘Bang’ as explosion before recording in Weibo the ‘explosion’ of fire somewhere… (Journalists) have discrimination, which is something lacked by ordinaries. (Interviewee No. 2)
Wénlín de héxīn shǐmìng, rú gōngsī xīn zhāngchéng zhōng suǒ guīdìng, shì wèile bāngzhù rénmen xuéxí yǔyán, zhǔyào shì Hànyǔ hé Yīngyǔ; cùjìn bùtóng wénhuà jiān de jiàoyù, lǐjiě, xīnshǎng, hépíng, hézuò, tuánjié yǐjí duōyàngxìng; fāzhǎn yǔyán hé jiàoyù kēxué, jìshù hé jìqiǎo. Duìyú Wénlín Hànyǔ Xuéxí Ruǎnjiàn hé ABC xìliè cídiǎn dāngqián jí wèilái de yònghùmen, chúle tōngguò wéihù, kuòzhǎn, gǎishàn, xǔkě hé chūbǎn zhèxiē zuòpǐn hé qítā zuòpǐn lái zhīchí tāmen, Wénlín hái zhìlìyú wéihù zhèxiē zuòpǐn de wánzhěng, shēngyù hé yuánzé, bǐngchéng le tóngshí shǐyòng pīnyīn (pīnyīn wénzì) hé Hànzì (gèzhǒng xíngshì de Hànyǔ wénzì) de yuánzé miànxiàng Hànyǔ xuéxí, zhēng chuàng zhǔnquèxìng, xuéshùxìng, kěkàoxìng, gōngpíngxìng, xiàoyòng hé zhìliàng de zuìgāo biāozhǔn. Cǐwài, zuòwéi yī ge SPC zǔzhī, Yánjiūsuǒ huì chuánshòu wǒmen de zhuānjiā tuánduì shǐyòng de jìnéng, ràng hòurén yánxù wǒmen de shìyè.
Over the course of media reform in the past four decades, economic and technological logic has definitely been significantly adherent to political logic, thereby exerting an influence under the latter’s framework. For example, propaganda has been given a high priority as a function that the Chinese media must perform throughout the process of media reform. Nevertheless, the tension between profiting and propaganda, market and state provides space for the strategic development of the media industries within China.
To encourage journalist participation, two newspaper offices in Fujian added ‘volume of news feeding to the centre’ in the their evaluation criteria for journalists’ work performance, and many other newspaper offices of the Fujian press industry stimulated the initiatives of journalists for collaboration with ‘remuneration’ (Gaofei) or ‘points’ (Gaofen). Motivated by these measures, a few journalists, particularly the young and junior ones, began to adapt to the working tempo of rapid publication and multiple ‘versions’ of a single story. Others, particularly old and senior journalists, had matter-of-fact reactions to such measures. From the perspective of the new media centre director and editors, the material rewards that failed to meet the expectations of journalists constitute the primary reason for the latter’s reluctance to participate. However, interviews with journalists revealed that their willingness to contribute news reports depends on the anticipated gains and the price that they may have to pay for such participation.
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