Two alternative paths are presently available for the local press industry to thoroughly address the issue of content for new media outlets. The first path is to remove the administrative hierarchy between metropolis newspapers and party organs, with the new media centre providing news to both newspapers and new media outlets for further editing. In this case, the new media outlets are not incorporated into the new media centre but remain at the same administrative level as the traditional media departments. Hence, the vertical communication between the new media centre and various new media outlets increases, yet the horizontal interaction between newspapers and new media outlets dramatically reduces. The second path is to insulate the newspapers from converging news production, with the centre producing content independently for new media outlets.

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).
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.
Zhou, BH (2014) Chinese journalists’ social media usage and its influential factors: A survey on young journalists in Shanghai (Zhongguo xinwen congyezhe de shejiao meiti yunyong jiqi yingxiang yinsu: Yi xiang zhendui shanghai qingnian xinwen congyezhe de diaocha yanjiu). Journal of Journalism and Communication (Xinwen yu chuanbo yanjiu) 120(12): 34–53.
Starting from the emergence of online newspapers, traditional media departments, particularly their leadership, were rather ‘antagonistic’ against new media departments based on the concerns over newspaper circulation. Nevertheless, the competitive relationship between the two types of departments remained unclear because new media departments were situated in a relatively marginalised position inside the press industry. After media convergence along the dominant path was officially launched, original new media departments have been integrated into the new media centre. Vast financial support, manpower and material investments were put to the new media centres of the Fujian press industry, which had reinforced the position of new media department as a ‘rival’ to newspaper offices.
Two alternative paths are presently available for the local press industry to thoroughly address the issue of content for new media outlets. The first path is to remove the administrative hierarchy between metropolis newspapers and party organs, with the new media centre providing news to both newspapers and new media outlets for further editing. In this case, the new media outlets are not incorporated into the new media centre but remain at the same administrative level as the traditional media departments. Hence, the vertical communication between the new media centre and various new media outlets increases, yet the horizontal interaction between newspapers and new media outlets dramatically reduces. The second path is to insulate the newspapers from converging news production, with the centre producing content independently for new media outlets.
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.
Following this logic, understanding why many of the journalists claimed that the underlying method of media reform lies in ‘pay walls’ when they were asked about the future of media convergence. In this vision, the exploration of newspapers on the new media platform has limited value. The premium content produced by newspapers and the protection for the copyright of these contents are sufficient conditions for the survival and stability of newspapers. A few journalists placed equal emphasis on the importance of newspaper contents but they acknowledged the mutually complementary relationship between new media and newspapers, thinking that the new media will develop towards rapidity, shallowness and interactivity in the future while newspapers will become considerably profound and specialised in content. They believe that both entities can implement accurate user demand-oriented communication by means of technology, such as ‘big data’.

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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