Such standpoint has led local press groups to successively adopt diverse approaches over the past two years to cope with the challenge of new media. Among these approaches, the ‘extendedly ameliorated’ path, namely the implementation of incremental development of newspapers through flow reconstruction whilst retaining their original production system (Mai, 2012: 118), has become a common option of most local press groups. Although media convergence exerts an increasingly significant effect on these local press groups, relevant empirical studies remain limited at present. The current study analyses the perceptions of local newspaper journalists on and evaluations of media convergence through a survey and 20 in-depth interviews so as to disclose the effects of the dominant path of media convergence on local press groups based on the understanding of and reflection on the viewpoints of the ‘insiders’.
For Western journalism researchers, media convergence generally refers to the ‘cooperation and collaboration between formerly distinct media newsrooms and other parts of the modern media company’ (Deuze, 2004: 140). Chinese scholars were considerably inclined to use the phrase ‘full-media’ (Quan Meiti) to describe the convergence process. Full-media, which is a term coined by Chinese media practitioners, implies a figure of oriental holism under the perspective of Chinese traditional philosophy (Ji et al., 2013). Mai (2012: 41) employed observation and in-depth interviews and defined full-media convergence as ‘a mode of structural integration of news production, dissemination and business operation on the platforms of new communication technology’.
Yóulǐkǎ (Eureka), Jiālìfúníyàzhōu -- Jì qùnián dì-sì bǎn de zhòngdà shēngjí zhīhòu, Wénlín Yánjiūsuǒ jīntiān fābù le Wénlín 4.1 beta bǎn gēngxīn, kāifàng gěi fúhé tiáojiàn bìng yuànyì cānjiā cèshì de Wénlín 4.0 yònghù. Cèshì rényuán kě fǎngwèn www.wenlinshangdian.com bìng shǐyòng tāmen de Wénlín 4.0 xùliè hào miǎnfèi “yùdìng” gēngxīn. Wénlín 4.1 de zuìzhōng bǎn yùjì jiāng yú jīnnián qiūtiān fābù, duì 4.0 bǎn suǒyǒu yònghù de miǎnfèi kāifàng shēngjí.
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.
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.