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.
An in-depth interview was thereafter conducted to provide an explanation for journalists’ attitude towards new media as well as to answer the research questions 2 and 3. A total of 12 respondents who left their contact information were recruited as interviewees. Given that media convergence is a process of integration among all newspaper offices within one press group, the recruitment of the interviewees was conducted with the press group unit rather than the single newspaper office. Apart from journalists, the leadership and editors of new media centres who had worked in the newspaper newsroom were also recruited as interviewees to obtain an improved understanding of the influences of media convergence on the press industry. The different degrees of experience in news gathering and editing of these directors and editors could be beneficial, particularly their insider’s viewpoint, which will compliment and support that of the journalists. From February to March 2016, the authors recruited eight directors or editors of new media centres for in-depth interviews through snowball sampling.
64 Moderately aware citizens tend to be most easily persuaded by news media messages, because poorly aware citizens do not receive media messages and the highly aware are more resistant to change their pre-held attitudes. McGuire, W. (ed.), Personality and Susceptibility to Social Influence (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1968), pp. 1130–87; Converse, P.E., “The nature of belief in mass publics,” in Apter, D. (ed.), Ideology and Discontent (New York: Free Press, 1964), pp. 206–61; Zaller, J., The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992).

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).
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.