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’.
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.
16 Expertise is defined as a source's “presumed knowledge and ability to provide accurate information.” See Petty, R. and Wegener, D., Attitude Change: Multiple Roles for Attitude Change (Boston: McGraw-Hill, 1998), p. 344. Objectivity refers to perceptions of media sources to be unbiased, accurate, fair and “to tell the whole story.” See Iyengar, S. and Kinder, D.R., Psychological Accounts of Agenda-Setting (Beverly Hills: Sage, 1985); Miller, J. and Krosnick, J., “News media impact on the ingredients of presidential evaluations: politically knowledgeable citizens are guided by a trusted source,” American Journal of Political Science, Vol. 44, No. 2 (2000), pp. 301–15.
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).

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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.
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Jenkins (2004) stressed that media convergence should be viewed as a ‘culture’ because it changed the relationship among technology, industry, market, product type and audience. By scrutinising the relationship between media institution and practitioners, the culture-oriented approach can facilitate the re-examination of the interaction mechanism between the institutional arrangement of media convergence and the logic of actors, as well as reconsideration of the social structure on a microscopic scale, thereby narrowing the gap between the media economics and media performance approaches.
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)
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)
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.
In addition, technology is equally a vital impetus for China’s media reform. Since the reform and opening-up, the popularisation of satellite technology, the Internet, mobile Internet and other technologies have changed the microscopic form, industrial structure, business model and operational mentality of Chinese media as well as accelerated the progress of media reform (Xiong et al., 2010).
Although the effects of media convergence from a journalist perspective are waiting to be further examined, a comprehensive view of the influence of new media on news production has been achieved by Chinese scholars. Existing studies indicate that journalists’ attitude towards new media is complicated. On one hand, the use of the Internet and we-media, such as QQ, Weibo and Wechat, has been considered to boost the work efficiency of journalists, enhance the interaction between journalists and readers and increase the transparency of news production (Wu and Zhang, 2015). On the other hand, an increasing number of journalists are also inclined to attribute the loss of ‘journalistic ideal’ to multifarious pressures provoked by new media (Ding and Wei, 2014). Given the development of mobile Internet and prevalence of we-media since the beginning of the 21st century, information and opinions from netizens have gradually become a vital source of news for traditional media and the public (Wu and Zhang, 2015; Zhou, 2014), and the objectivity of news and journalists’ authoritativeness have been impaired (Bai, 2013).
The recruitment of interviewees was conducted for two rounds. Given the demonstrative effect of the media convergence of the Xiamen Daily Group within the province and even the entire industry, the authors contacted seven media practitioners from this organisation to undergo the first round of interview. Consequently, one director, one editor and five newspaper journalists were involved as interviewees in this round. After developing a preliminary knowledge of the opinions of the Xiamen Daily Group journalists towards media convergence, the authors conducted a second round of interview. Three directors, three editors and seven journalists were recruited as interviewees from several other press groups, including Fujian Daily Group, Fuzhou Daily News Press and Quanzhou Evening News Press, thereby promoting the diversity of the interviewees in the aspect of age, years at work and newspaper type. Except for one journalist from the Fujian Daily Group who was interviewed via telephone, all the 19 others underwent face-to-face interviews (Table 1).