The term ‘domestication’ originally refers to the process of bringing wild animals or plants under control and using them for food or as pets. In journalism research, ‘domestication’ generally refers to journalism practitioners establishing an association between a foreign news event and the domestic audience by applying certain strategies of representation (Gurevitch et al., 1991). In this study, ‘domestication’ describes the strong institutional inertia under which new media outlets have been progressively involved in the orbit of newspapers. Accordingly, this process homogenises the new media outlets with the system, routines and cultures of traditional media.
The shortcomings of this study lie in the non-random sampling method on which the survey relies and the theoretical saturation of the findings drawn from the single case. Aside from adopting better sampling techniques, future research can appeal to an editor-centric perspective to comprehensively assess the effects of media convergence. Also, future research can perform comparative analyses across regions or countries to further disclose the multiplicity of convergence effects and its relationship with the regionally and nationally specific factors.
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.
In 2001, the Publicity Department of CPC, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, and the General Administration of Press and Publication issued the Opinions on Intensifying Reform on the Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television Industry, thereby establishing media groups concurrently operating across media and regions as well as initiating comprehensive adjustment over the capital structure of media groups. In late 2003, the State Council issued the Notice on Printing and Issuing Two Regulations on Supporting the Transformation of Cultural Industry Development and that of Cultural Institutions into Enterprises in the Trail of Cultural System Reform to separate operative resources, such as the contents of social service and mass entertainment, from present institutional resources, thereby realising capitalisation. Henceforth, the gap in the domain of ownership has been further filled, and media reform has entered the capitalisation stage.
Previous studies on the influence of media convergence in China either took a market- or norm-oriented approach. From a news production perspective, the current study analyses the interaction between the top-down design and bottom-up practices of journalists to disclose the influence of the dominant path of media convergence within the press industry of Fujian Province. A survey and 20 in-depth interviews show that the current media convergence practices of Fujian’s press industry fail to receive the support of journalists because of institutional, organisational and individual complexities, rather than technological reasons. This study discusses the implications of this finding for media convergence in China.
Before and after 2006, Chinese scholars began exploring the potential effects of ‘media convergence’ on news production in the context of digitisation being launched pervasively among press groups. A few of these scholars believe that convergence journalism, as an outgrowth of media convergence, provide gradual changes to the actors of news production, news source, communication medium, content, form and workflow (Cai, 2006).
Yóulǐkǎ (Eureka), Jiālìfúníyàzhōu -- Jì qùnián dì-sì bǎn de zhòngdà shēngjí zhīhòu, Wénlín Yánjiūsuǒ jīntiān fābù le Wénlín 4.1 beta bǎn gēngxīn, kāifàng gěi fúhé tiáojiàn bìng yuànyì cānjiā cèshì de Wénlín 4.0 yònghù. Cèshì rényuán kě fǎngwèn www.wenlinshangdian.com bìng shǐyòng tāmen de Wénlín 4.0 xùliè hào miǎnfèi “yùdìng” gēngxīn. Wénlín 4.1 de zuìzhōng bǎn yùjì jiāng yú jīnnián qiūtiān fābù, duì 4.0 bǎn suǒyǒu yònghù de miǎnfèi kāifàng shēngjí.
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 national policy is further loosened, the Chinese media have begun exploring diversified modes of business operation. In 1996, the Guangzhou Daily Newspaper Group announced its foundation, thereby unfolding the prelude of conglomeration of Chinese media. However, the process of conglomeration accelerated significantly only during the turn of the millennium, which has also benefited from the promulgation of a series of polices.
* This article is part of a book project examining the impact of media commercialization on news content and public opinion in China, tentatively titled Propaganda for Sale. For fruitful research collaboration I would like to thank Iain Johnston, Shen Mingming and the members of the Research Center for Contemporary China. I am also grateful for financial support provided by the Harvard-Yenching Institute and the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan. Many thanks as well to the participants of the Chinese politics workshop at the University of Wisconsin, Madison for helpful comments and to Wang Mingde for research assistance.
Wénlín 4.2 fābù de tóngshí, gōngsī wǎngzhàn de zhěngtǐ chóngxīn shèjì yě jiēzhǒng'érlái, xīn wǎngzhàn bāohán le Hànyǔ Pīnyīn, jiǎntǐ, fántǐ xíngshì de fānyì. Wénlín 4.2 Bǎn kě zài wǎngshàng (wenlinshangdian.com) shēngjí, shēngjí fèiyòng jǐn shí Měiyuán, yòngyú zhīchí chǎnpǐn kāifā. Wénlín zuìjìn fābù de Yuēhàn Luósēnnuò biānjí de “Hàn-Yīng Yànyǔ Cídiǎn” ruǎnjiàn de fùfèi yònghùmen: Hànyǔ Yànyǔ ABC Cídiǎn (Hàn-Yīngyǔ Cídiǎn), yě kě zài wǎngshàng yǐ 19.99 Měiyuán gòumǎi, hái jiāng miǎnfèi huòdé Wénlín 4.2 shēngjíbǎn.
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.
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).
In recent years, the Fujian press industry has stagnated due to frequent turnover of personnel. Given that the number of practicing journalists in this province is difficult to determine, the authors adopted the snowball sampling method by firstly contacting the persons-in-charge of the newsroom and requesting them thereafter to recruit journalists to answer the survey. Considering the particularity of the respondents’ profession, that is, having flexible working hours, two assistants were assigned to distribute the printed questionnaires before and after the plenary press conference or the newsroom convention from July to August 2015.
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.
The last two sections show some potential changes in the dominant path of media convergence adopted by the local press industry. Existing studies indicate that institutional and organisational factors considerably influence the journalists’ perception of their professional roles (Tao and Zhang, 2014; Wu et al., 1996; Zhang and Wu, 2016). Long-term attention is equally worthwhile with regard to whether the future structural adjustment of the local press industry in the area of media convergence will change the journalists’ identification of their roles.
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.
To encourage journalist participation, two newspaper offices in Fujian added ‘volume of news feeding to the centre’ in the their evaluation criteria for journalists’ work performance, and many other newspaper offices of the Fujian press industry stimulated the initiatives of journalists for collaboration with ‘remuneration’ (Gaofei) or ‘points’ (Gaofen). Motivated by these measures, a few journalists, particularly the young and junior ones, began to adapt to the working tempo of rapid publication and multiple ‘versions’ of a single story. Others, particularly old and senior journalists, had matter-of-fact reactions to such measures. From the perspective of the new media centre director and editors, the material rewards that failed to meet the expectations of journalists constitute the primary reason for the latter’s reluctance to participate. However, interviews with journalists revealed that their willingness to contribute news reports depends on the anticipated gains and the price that they may have to pay for such participation.