These findings indicate that media convergence is never merely a technological issue. The journalists’ stance on new technologies is not sufficient to guarantee a corresponding attitude towards media convergence. To gain a comprehensive understanding of the effects of convergence, the social context, typically the media system and journalistic culture must be taken into consideration. Both of them exert great influence on journalists’ attitude towards media convergence.
4 Therefore, some observers suspected that “Anti CNN” messages were part of a larger propaganda effort to discredit reports that contradicted the official line of the state. See New York Times, 25 March 2008; Sueddeutsche Zeitung, 28 March 2008. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang denied any direct links between the website and the Chinese government. http://www.chinese-embassy.org.uk/eng/zt/fyrth/t419160.htm, accessed 20 July 2008.
The case study of Fujian indicates that what lies beneath the persistent tension between newspaper offices and new media departments is substantively a conflict of economic interest that results from the competitive relationship amongst various media outlets within the local press group since the period of media conglomeration. Adjusting the administrative structure cannot reduce this tension as long as the economic logic is not thoroughly challenged.
According to Mai (2012: 155–168), these two paths have rendered the cooperative interactions between the traditional and new media outlets far less frequent, if not totally suspended, and are likely to further alienate the newspapers from the original or latest new media departments. In other words, both paths create new administrative barriers whilst breaching or circumventing the original administrative barriers.
Fujian’s case indicates that new media outlets tend to be ‘domesticated’ in terms of converging news production. Firstly, a multilevel censorship system has been established, thereby ensuring that the new media content is under supervision. Secondly, new media outlets are subject to a bureaucratic style of management with low decision-making efficiency.
Contextualised within the relationship of state, media and journalists, the current study begins with a brief description of local journalists’ attitude towards new media. Thereafter, the authors discuss how local journalists perceive and evaluate media convergence, disclosing the implementation of the dominant convergence path and its influential mechanism. Consequently, this discussion lays an empirical foundation for exploring the regional diversity of China’s media convergence in the future. The following concrete questions will be discussed:
Specifically, information released in new media outlets emphasise timeliness. The irreconcilable conflict between such requirement and the principle of accuracy in news reportage concerns many journalists. In China, the common rule of thumb in terms of news production is that ‘the writer is responsible for the consequences of this article’. Journalists are obliged to take full responsibility for all issues engendered by the news under their name. The risk of ‘more mistakes with more releases’ is a shadow that follows news production as a by-product of the censorship system. Thus, the journalists in Fujian’s press groups disregard the new system of censorship as a ‘buffer’ that could protect them from various risks, particularly political ones. When journalists believe that the risk they may undertake outweighs the financial return they will attain, they choose not to cooperate.
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).
Wénlín 4.3 bǎn hái wánquán zhīchí Adobe de Han Sans zìtǐ, zhè shì yī zhǒng xīn de Pan-CJK zìtǐ xì (kě miǎnfèi xiàzài), hái gǎijìnle zìtǐ xuǎnzé gōngnéng de yì yòng xìng. Qítā xīn gōngnéng hé shēngjí de gōngnéng bāokuò︰yāsuō MP3 géshi lùyīn; nèi zhì wǎngluò sōusuǒ; xīn de fāyīn, dǎoháng hé lièbiǎo děng zēngqiáng gōngnéng. Wénlín 4.3 bǎn wánquán zhīchí Unicode8 CJK de kuòzhǎn IE zhīchí, ràng Wénlín zhuānshǔ CDL zìtǐ yǐnqíng de wénzì miáoshù zǒngshù dádào 103, 510. Huānyíng fǎngwèn www.wenlinshangdian.com gòumǎi Wénlín 4.3 bǎn, shòujià wéi$99. Fúhé zīgé de yònghù kě xiǎngshòu shēngjí jiàgé. Shēngjí nèiróng de wánzhěng lièbiǎo qǐng cānjiàn: http://tinyurl.com/wen43.
Both viewpoints have consistent cores, that is, the adherence to the principle that ‘content shall dominate’, which underscores the importance of content resources in maintaining and promoting the influential power of newspapers and in assisting newspapers to step out of the ‘cold winter’. This situation further evokes the hesitation of and the resistance from the journalists of the Fujian press industry as they maintain their professional dignity with effort.
Ding, FZ, Wei, L (2014) Occupational dilemma of China’s journalists in an era of social media: A study of journalists’ occupational discourses on Weibo in Journalists’ Day from 2010 to 2014 (Shehuihua meiti shidai zhongguo xinwenren de zhiye kunjing: Jiyu 2010–2014 nian ‘jizhejie’ xinwenren weibo zhiye huayu bianqian de kaocha). Shanghai Journalism Review (Xinwen jizhe) 12: 3–9.
Although the competitiveness of commercial new media are discerned, the interviewed journalists remain inclined to regard the contents of new media as ‘superficial’, ‘fast food-like’ and ‘targeting lower-level readers’. Accordingly, the journalists believe that the poor quality of the content provided by the nonprofessional new media outlets further highlights the importance of the journalists’ professional expertise of separating falsity from truth.
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Lā Qiáolā (La Jolla), Jiālìfúníyàzhōu -- Wénlín Hànyǔ Xuéxí Ruǎnjiàn hé CDL zìtǐ jìshù de kāifāzhě -- Wénlín Yánjiūsuǒ, yóu yī jiā pǔtōng qǐyè (gōngsī) zhuǎnxíng chéngwéi “shèhuì mùdì gōngsī” (SPC gōngsī). Tāngmǔ Bìxiǎopǔ (Tom Bishop) zhǔxí jiěshì le zhè yī juédìng: “Wǒmen de jiàoyù shǐmìng, cǐkè, zài fǎlǜ shang, chéngwéi le wǒmen cúnzài de gēnběn yìyì. Zhè yī xīn dìngwèi wèi ràng gèngduō de rén cānyù dào wǒmen de zǔzhī zhōng pūpíng le dàolù, tóngshí jiāng wǒmen de fāzhǎn tíshēng dào xīn de shuǐpíng. Xiànzài wǒmen yǒuquán yě bìxū zài wǒmen gōngsī de zhāngchéng zhōng guīdìng: jiàoyù jí qítā shèhuì mùdì shì wǒmen de zuìgāo zōngzhǐ.” Chúle yào kuòchōng yī zhī yōuxiù tuánduì, bāokuò cídiǎn biānzuǎn, yǔyánxué, biānchéng hé jiàoyù de dǐngjiān zhuānjiā, Wénlín Yánjiūsuǒ Gōngsī SPC dǎsuàn bǎ cídiǎn hé qítā xuéxí cáiliào fābù dào wǎngshàng, ràng quánqiú fúhé zīgé de gòngxiànzhě kěyǐ xiézuò gǎishàn bìng xiūzhèng Zhòng-Yāng zīyuánkù. Gōngsī de xīn dìngwèi biǎomíng línjìn fābù de Wénlín Hànyǔ Xuéxí Ruǎnjiàn 4.2 bǎn jiāng yǔ zhòngdà shēngjí hòu de gōngsī wǎngzhàn tóngbù lóngzhòng tuīchū.
After 2008, ‘full-media’ became a keyword with which scholars discussed China’s press industry. Studies that focus on the effects of full-media are categorised into two approaches: media economics and media performance approaches. The media economics approach generalises the experience and lessons of convergence practices and evaluates the influence of media convergence on newspaper development mostly from a business operation perspective by adopting case studies combined with the personal observation of researchers (cf. Tang and Cao, 2015; Yang, 2013). By contrast, the media performance approach analyses the method of content delivery on the new media platforms of newspapers as well as predicts (through content analysis) the influence of convergence on the progress of society’s democratisation from the media ethics perspective (cf. Huang, 2013; Cai, 2011).
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.