Approaches to writing instruction developed in North America have gradually made their presence felt in other parts of the world during recent years. A curricular evaluation of the local needs, instruction, assessments, teacher preparation, and other pedagogical factors is crucial for the successful transmission and integration of those approaches into the new contexts. Set against the background of recent, exuberant scholarly discussions of the issue of transplanting Western writing pedagogies, this article presents an observational report of a typical college English curriculum for non-majors in China, with a focus on its writing component. The study has found that English writing is taught under the guidance of a nationally unified syllabus and examination system. Rather than assisting their students to develop thoughts in writing, teachers in this system are predominantly concerned about the teaching of correct form and test-taking skills. Because of their relatively low economic status in China, English teachers have to work extra hours and have little time to spend on individual students or on furthering their professional training. However, signs of recent Western writing pedagogies, such as pre-writing and multiple-drafting activities, are identified in classrooms and textbook publishing, which indicate the possibility of successful adaptations of the recent Western writing pedagogies in the Chinese context.
Nevertheless, the resistance from journalists makes no difference to the convergence path of China’s local press industry. The tendency for senior journalists to be more devoted to converging news production compared with junior ones and the tendency for journalists from party organs to show a higher positivity towards contributing compared with those from metropolis newspapers both highlight the impact of institutional and organisational factors on the journalists’ intention and behaviour in collaboration.
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.
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.
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).
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)
As a manifestation of the administrative barrier within Fujian’s press groups, the estrangement between metropolis newspaper offices and the new media centre has a further impact on the relationship between journalists and editors. Even when providing news, metropolis newspaper journalists are rather reluctant to invest time and energy and are less willing to cooperate with editors than their counterparts from the party organ due to lack of support from departmental leaders. Hence, conflicts over role misplacement frequently occur during their communication with the editors of the new media centre.
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.
Moreover, most journalists willing to provide news to the new media centres are from party organs, whereas the majority of the metropolis newspaper journalists resisted collaboration. To understand the reason behind such contrast, note that new media centres are governed by party organs in terms of administrative hierarchy and are completely independent of metropolis newspaper offices in terms of finances. Compared with the metropolis newspapers, the party organ has relatively few barriers to the new media centres and a high degree of resource sharing. Such disparity has resulted in an operational obstacle between metropolis newspaper offices and the new media centre. To the new media leadership, this obstacle is precisely the underlying reason for newspapers and the new media to continue to be integrated but stay incompatible. The pattern of this relationship affects journalists’ willingness to collaborate.
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)
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.
Such a characteristic of we-media has further squeezed the price bidding space of the new media of Fujian press industry in the area of content in local journalists’ eyes. What is worse, the procedure of three-phase censorship that deviates from the logic of new media is not strictly followed during the course of converging news production. Delays in the course of censorship have not only impaired the market competitiveness of the new media in terms of content, but also considerably reduced the willingness of journalists to collaborate with the new media centre.