The relationship between demographic factors with journalists’ attitude towards new media has been analysed in order to determine the variation among different types of journalists. The results of the ANOVA test indicate that gender and degree of education make no difference to the respondents’ perception about the changes or to their evaluation of new media; the type of newspaper makes no difference to the former but does influences the latter (F = 13.107, df = 1, p < .01). The results of the correlation analysis indicate that the respondents’ ages and years at work are uncorrelated to their perception but positively correlated to their evaluation of new media (r = 0.235, p < .001; r = 0.185, p < .01). Although local journalists in Fujian have generally recognised the changes brought about by new media to newspapers, those from metropolis newspapers were more inclined to provide a negative evaluation to these changes than those from party organs, whilst the older and more experienced the journalists were, the more positive evaluation they tended to provide to new media.
The convergence of the Chinese press industry is thus not merely driven by the effects of market and technological logic from the beginning, unlike in Europe and the US. Actually, administrative fiat plays a pivotal role in each stage of media convergence. In the mid- and late-1990s, the ‘touch the Internet’ (Chuwang) action of traditional news media, namely to establish online newspapers, has expanded from the top to the bottom ‘with the state as the sponsor’ and ‘national media as the leader’ (Yu, 2015). Similarly, the establishment of the collaborative relationship between newspapers and new media on news production at the beginning of the 21st century could not be realised without the intervention of administrative power, including approval for the construction of major news websites to produce original contents. The wave of media convergence that began in 2006 is also inseparable from the official ‘top-down design’. In the beginning, the General Administration of Press and Publication was concurrently the project sponsor and supervisor. Thereafter, the media convergence of the central and local press industry has been highly dependent on financial funding from the government.
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.
As a component of the media reform, the convergence of Chinese press industry is also state-guided in nature. Investigation on the convergence processes of the Chinese press industry will inevitably involve the discussion on ‘the media institution with Chinese characteristics’. However, this discussion does not mean that the convergence is rigid. The tension among three forces, that is, economy, technology and politics, has also shaped the path of China’s media convergence (Yu, 2015). The convergence of Chinese press industry also takes on significant regional diversity, and is subject to power structure, regional economic development level, status quo of business operation and consequences of a newspaper’s preliminary digitisation.
Before and after 2009, all major press groups in Fujian started to establish e-newspapers and transfer the newspaper contents to their official news websites to cope with the loss of readers as a result of the prevalence of computer technology as well as to maintain and expand the influence of traditional media. The popularity of Weibo and WeChat emerged between 2011 and 2012, thereby prompting the local press groups in Fujian to try out both platforms. During this period, newspapers were the pillar of the press groups’ revenue. Within most press groups in Fujian, Weibo and WeChat remained under the operation of newspaper editors and journalists on a part-time basis and received limited emphasis from the leadership.
As a component of the media reform, the convergence of Chinese press industry is also state-guided in nature. Investigation on the convergence processes of the Chinese press industry will inevitably involve the discussion on ‘the media institution with Chinese characteristics’. However, this discussion does not mean that the convergence is rigid. The tension among three forces, that is, economy, technology and politics, has also shaped the path of China’s media convergence (Yu, 2015). The convergence of Chinese press industry also takes on significant regional diversity, and is subject to power structure, regional economic development level, status quo of business operation and consequences of a newspaper’s preliminary digitisation.
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.
Wénlín yì wéi “qúnyīng huì” yǔ gōngsī míng xiāngtóng de shì, Wénlín Yánjiūsuǒ de chéngxùyuán dàitóurén dōu shì shēnjiān Hànyǔ yǔyánxuéjiā hé jìsuànjī kēxué gōngchéngshī liǎng zhǒng shēnfèn. Guānchá děngshì liǎngbiān, zhè ràng Wénlín Yánjiūsuǒ de chuàngshǐrén hé zǒngcái Tuōmǎsī E. Bìxiǎopǔ (Thomas E. Bishop) chóngxīn fāxiàn le Hànyǔ shénmì de 36 bǐ “zìmǔ”, jìn'ér yīláoyǒngyì de jiějué le Unicode “quēzì” de wèntí. Zhèxiē chuántǒng jiǎoběn yuánsù yīzhí yǐlái dōu bèi ruǎnjiàn kāifāzhě suǒ hūshì. “CDL yīzhí shì Wénlín de yī bùfèn, dàn wǒmen wèi fāxiàn qiánzài yǔyán, zhídào Wénlín 4.0 bǎn tuīchū. Rújīn yònghù kěyǐ chákàn bìng cāokòng rènhé kě zài bǐhuà kuàng zhōng chákàn de zìfú de CDL miáoshù,” Bìxiǎopǔ shuōdào. Wénlín Yánjiūsuǒ shì Unicode Xiéhuì de róngyù huìyuán, zì 2000 nián yǐlái yīzhí zhìlìyú míhé CJK shùjù chǔlǐ shang de chājù.
To date, the pioneers of media convergence have been thoroughly studied by Chinese scholars. Other press groups as ‘followers’, particularly the local press groups that adopted the dominant path of media convergence, are less highlighted and rarely focused within journalism studies, although they are precisely what have crucially endowed the landscape of Chinese media convergence with regional diversity. The deficiency in relevant studies has entailed the urgent choice of Chinese scholars to focus on media convergence of the local press industry.
The authors adopted a semi-structural interview and provided an outline for the journalists that mainly revolved around the following nine questions: (1) When did you start using new media in your daily work? (2) What is your reason for using new media? (3) What do you think is the role of new media in news production? (4) What measures have been adopted by the press group that you are currently working for in terms of media convergence? (5) Did such measures result in changes in your daily work? If yes, what are such changes? What can you say about these changes? (6) How do you interpret the effects of media convergence on journalists based on your personal experience? (7) What is your overall evaluation of the media convergence within the press group you are working for? (8) Are you aware of the measures of other press groups in terms of media convergence? What is your opinion on their measures? (9) What can you say about the viewpoint of the local press industry that media convergence is the way out for its current predicament? Specific to the interviewees of other categories, the questions varied in terms of how they are stated and their order of arrangement.
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.
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)
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.

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.
Another explanation for journalists’ disinclination to provide news to the new media centre is the emerging conflict between the traditional and new media departments of the Fujian press industry. The main purpose of media convergence is to reconstruct the news production workflow and manifest the notion of ‘collection once, generation into varieties and dissemination in diversities’. Under the dominant path, the original departments of new media outlets are incorporated into the department of new media centre. From the perspective of newspaper office leadership, the timeliness of newspapers falls short of new media; thus, the latter is likely to further decrease the market of the former by intensifying the decline in newspaper readers. The leadership in Fujian’s press groups has been exploring various methods of press release, such as supplying basic facts to new media whilst providing details, background information and other in-depth content to newspapers, giving new media the priority to non-exclusive material but offering newspapers the priority to exclusive information. Discords occasionally occurred between the managements of newspaper offices and new media centre nonetheless.
The sense of crisis brought about by intense competition would permeate throughout the ranks of journalists from top to bottom. For the latter, competition with peers are normal in the condition of having multiple newspapers in the same city. However, previous rivalries were fair contests between ‘professional journalists’, whereas present struggles involve unfair competition with ‘vulgar non-professionals’.
Focusing on the ‘top-down design’ of media convergence, market-oriented research relatively lacks in social solicitude and theoretical construction; valuing the ethics and obligations of converging media, the norm-oriented research demonstrates intense social solicitude but hardly receives industry-wide recognition. Both types of research fail to explain the full influence of media convergence. Considering that journalists are the critical actors of news production, the advancement of media convergence cannot proceed without the institutional arrangement from the top to the bottom as well as without the commitment and involvement of journalistic practitioners, particularly journalists, from the bottom to the top. The interaction between these two processes ultimately determines the scope, intensity and nature of the influences of media convergence.

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.

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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