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.
On the event of the shipwreck in the Yangtze River last year, I sent (passengers’ identity numbers) to the editor-on-duty of the website. He said, ‘Tell me the number of (Fuzhou) people’. I told him he could roughly estimate the number by counting those identity numbers starting with ‘35’. He said, ‘You might as well help me count’. I was being busy on the spot. And I was expected to be the one managing such trivial matters! (Interviewee No. 14)
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’.
Zuìjìn yóu Xiàwēiyí Dàxué Chūbǎnshè chūbǎn de “ABC Hàn-Yīng Yànyǔ Cídiǎn” bāohán le yuē 4000 duō tiáo Hànyǔ yànyǔ, gēnjù Hànyǔ Pīnyīn zhuǎnlù hé Hànzì (biāozhǔn jiǎntǐ), ànzhào yànyǔ shǒu cí de zìmǔ shùnxù páiliè, fùdài de Yīngwén shūmiàn zhíyì (rú bìyào yě huì cǎiyòng yìyì). Qítā nèiróng bāohán: jiǎnyào yòngfǎ zhùshì, láiyuán, bìngxíng biǎodá, cānzhào yǐnyòng yǐjí yìngyòng shílì. Yànyǔ shì yóu yī ge guānjiàncí (Zhōng-Yīngwén) suǒyǐn zēngbǔ de, tǐxiàn zài suǒyǒu shèjí de cítiáo hé huàtí li. Biānzhě duì zhèxiē yànyǔ zài chuántǒng yǔ dāngdài Zhōngguó li de dìngyì, jiégòu, yòngtú hé lìshǐ jìnxíng le xuéshù jièshào, lièchū le wénxiàn jí hé xiāngguān yànyǔ de xuéshù yánjiū.
In the early 1990s, Chinese press industry strategically expanded policy limits by using the tension between the state and capitals (Akhavan-Majid, 2004). For example, the operation management strategy through structural ‘zoning’ (Pan, 2000) and the content strategy pursuing newsworthiness to the maximum within the permissible policy scope (Zhao, 1996). Thus, newspapers that transform from ‘Party Mouthpiece’ to ‘Party Publicity Inc.’ (Lee et al., 2006) gained substantial rewards from the market whilst performing their propaganda function.
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.
Whereas the day-to-day operation of the new media outlets are gradually involved into the political orbit of the Chinese media system, there is a barrier to the convergence which arises from the competitive relationship between the traditional and new media departments for more resources and market rewards yet to be surmounted. The new media centre has difficulty in gaining the support of newspapers, particularly metropolis newspapers in content production, which may accelerate the adjustment of the administrative structure within the local press industry.
47 On 10 and 12 April, media briefings with Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang were convened. See http://www.fmprc.gov.cn, accessed 31 May 2007. For reports see Beijing Youth Daily, 13 April 2008, Jinghua shibao, 13 April 2005, China Daily, 13 April 2005. Similar announcements by the spokesperson of the Public Security Bureau followed. See People's Daily and Beijing Youth Daily, 22 April 2005.
The Chinese media have undergone commercial liberalization during the reform era. Interviews with media practitioners reveal that media reform has brought about three different types of newspapers that differ with respect to their degree of commercial liberalization. Based on a natural experiment during the anti-Japanese protests in Beijing in 2005, this article shows that urban residents found more strongly commercialized newspapers more persuasive than less commercialized newspapers. Provided that the state can enforce press restrictions when needed, commercial liberalization promotes the ability of the state to influence public opinion through the means of the news media.
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).
To date, only a few studies have evaluated the influences of media convergence from a Chinese journalists’ perspective. Limited research has reflected the equivocal attitude of journalists towards media convergence and disclosed various factors that affect journalists’ attitude. Chan et al. (2006) conducted a survey involving full-time journalists in Shanghai and Hangzhou and indicated that journalistic websites founded by traditional media have higher credibility than their counterparts founded by commercial portal website. However, the perceived credibility of mainstream media organisations’ websites and commercial portals varies with the beliefs of journalists on journalism. A case study of the Shenzhen Newspaper Group conducted by Yin and Liu (2014) revealed a pessimistic view of media convergence from this organisation’s journalists and emphasised that the analysis of media convergence in non-Western countries must be contextualised within the relationship between state and media. Based on previous studies, a conclusion can be drawn as follows: To provide an insight into the effects of media convergence on the Chinese press industry, the relationship among state, media and journalists should be considered.
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)
This decision means that the Chinese media must be dedicated to Party and government propaganda whilst earning profits and seeking for industry development. This institutional framework enabled the metropolis newspapers to emphasise the function of profitability that emerged in the mid-1990s. Differing from the party organs, the metropolis newspapers have consciously catered to the preferences of the audience in terms of content, including considerable emphasis on the timeliness, relevance and interesting aspects of the news, concentration on social and personal stories and a continuous increase in the proportion of entertainment and leisure contents. Zhao (1998: 159) opined that these measures are more about supplement than disobedience to the party organs, thereby extending the official ideology further to the social, personal and even mental domains.
Lā Qiáolā (La Jolla), Jiālìfúníyàzhōu -- Wénlín Yánjiūsuǒ Shèhuì Mùdì Gōngsī (SPC), Wénlín Hànyǔ Xuéxí Ruǎnjiàn 4.2 bǎn fāxíng gōngsī, xuānbù chénglì dì-yī rèn dǒngshìhuì. Dǒngshìhuì chéngyuán bāokuò: Xiàwēiyí Dàxué Mǎnuò'ā Xiàoqū Zhōngguó Yánjiū Zhōngxīn fùzhǔrèn, Kǒngzǐ Yánjiūsuǒ zhǔrèn Rèn Yǒuméi (Cynthia Ning) bóshì; Shèngdìyàgē Zhōulì Dàxué Zhōngwén Xiàngmù gùwèn, “Měiguó Zhōngwén Jiàoshī Xuéhuì Zázhì” zhǔbiān Zhāng Zhèngshēng (Zheng-sheng Zhang); Richard Cook bóshì (yánjiū yǔ kāifā fùzǒngcái); Elisabeth Nuboer-Ranjhan (zhànlüè guānxì fùzǒngcái); Mark Roblee(yíngxiāo fùzǒngcái) hé Tom Bishop (zǒngcái).
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).
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