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)
In light of the relationship between newspapers and websites, Mai (2012: 118–119) classified the path of media convergence of Chinese press industry into three types: extendedly ameliorated, establishing a convergence platform with newspapers as the core without changing the mechanism of content production and the structure of press industry; new media driven, setting up a convergence platform with new media as the core to push forward newspapers to progressively transform the flow, relationship and concept of news production; and fully transformed, replacing the original structure of the press industry with a brand new structure. Of the three, the ‘extendedly ameliorated’ approach has become the dominant path of media convergence because it rarely challenges the intrinsic structural restriction of press groups.
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.
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