65 The coefficient of the interaction term was not statistically significant because of the small n of the treatment group. This indicates that we cannot be 95% certain that we would retrieve similar results over repeated samples. However, the dynamics are similar when comparing Beijingers' use of the internet and newspapers, thus further providing evidence that “new” media are more effective than “old” media in appeasing citizens. See Stockmann, “What kind of information does the public demand?”
Specifically, information released in new media outlets emphasise timeliness. The irreconcilable conflict between such requirement and the principle of accuracy in news reportage concerns many journalists. In China, the common rule of thumb in terms of news production is that ‘the writer is responsible for the consequences of this article’. Journalists are obliged to take full responsibility for all issues engendered by the news under their name. The risk of ‘more mistakes with more releases’ is a shadow that follows news production as a by-product of the censorship system. Thus, the journalists in Fujian’s press groups disregard the new system of censorship as a ‘buffer’ that could protect them from various risks, particularly political ones. When journalists believe that the risk they may undertake outweighs the financial return they will attain, they choose not to cooperate.
Moreover, the decline of influence on public opinion is definitely another key factor that triggered the convergence within Chinese press industry. It is fairly illustrated in Secretary-General Xi Jinping’s ‘8•19’ speech on ‘boost the convergence between traditional and new media, and completely apply new technology in innovating the forms of media communication to seize a commanding height in the field of information communication’ (Liu, 2014). This situation is relatively similar to that of the media conglomeration in the late 1990s, when the legitimacy of reform stemmed from the policy of making domestic media ‘bigger and stronger’ to pre-empt the anticipated foreign competition in the World Trade Organization era. Meanwhile, a majority of domestic press groups were established based on administrative decrees rather than on business demands (Chen and Lee, 1998). Eliminating ‘dispersion’ and ‘chaos’ in the public opinion domain is the key factor that catalyses both media conglomeration and media convergence.
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.
61 After 9 April those Beijingers with the most negative views of Japan avoided newspapers. See D. Stockmann, “What kind of information does the public demand? Getting the news during the 2005 anti-Japanese protests,” in S. Shirk (ed.), Changing Media, Changing China, forthcoming. Since non-readers were excluded from the statistical analysis, avoidance did not influence the empirical results presented here.
A total of 300 journalists from 11 newspapers (i.e., Xiamen Daily, Xiamen Evening News, Haixi Morning Post, Strait Herald, Fujian Daily, Strait Urban News, Fuzhou Daily, Fuzhou Evening News, Quanzhou Evening News, Southeast Morning Post and Strait Urban News (South Fujian Edition)) in the cities of Xiamen, Fuzhou and Quanzhou responded to the survey. After eliminating the ones in which over half of the questions were left unanswered, 274 copies of effective questionnaires were retrieved (completion rate = 91.3%). Two researchers input the data into SPSS19.0 and performed mutual proofreading to correct the errors in the manual input process. The findings were obtained through analysis of variance (ANOVA) and correlation analysis.
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)
Therefore, faced with the challenges from we-media runners who have seized advantages in the information communication domain in recent years, local journalists choose to fall back on the principle of objectivity to defend the increasingly blurring boundary between professional and non-professional information providers. The resistance to collaboration thereby demonstrates the journalists’ identification with the ideology of professionalism.
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.
The insistence of local journalists to maintain professional boundaries results from the ideology of professionalism that has permeated throughout China’s journalism education and practice since the reform and opening-up policy. Such insistence also manifests the responsive identification of these journalists under the context in which the journalistic profession is increasingly declining (Donsbach, 2010).
The article’s hook is the story of a woman who stomped a cat to death with a high-heeled shoe and anonymously uploaded a video to the Internet. When it spread to the forums on Mop.com, the Human Flesh Search Engine kicked into gear as people were outraged by the video, and within days, a combination of detective work, crowdsourcing, and media attention allowed them to track down and identify the woman and exact their wrath on her:
Both viewpoints have consistent cores, that is, the adherence to the principle that ‘content shall dominate’, which underscores the importance of content resources in maintaining and promoting the influential power of newspapers and in assisting newspapers to step out of the ‘cold winter’. This situation further evokes the hesitation of and the resistance from the journalists of the Fujian press industry as they maintain their professional dignity with effort.
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.
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.
Say (there is) a fire disaster, which is often reported as an explosion. We often rush to fire disasters, chatting and interviewing with firemen on the site, (to know) there are lots of detonations in fire disasters. Even if not all detonations correspond to explosion, people who have not experienced the scene would likely label the sound ‘Bang’ as explosion before recording in Weibo the ‘explosion’ of fire somewhere… (Journalists) have discrimination, which is something lacked by ordinaries. (Interviewee No. 2)
Conversely, although the Chinese government has promulgated a series of laws to regulate the content on the Internet since the implementation of the Interim Provisions on Internet Publication Management in 2002, commercial we-media have gained highly substantial market return by virtue of the size effect and flexibility of user-produced contents. Given that the main rival of Fujian’s local journalists for the role of opinion frontrunner in information dissemination does not undergo the direct regulation of the publicity sector, the ‘VIPs’ of we-media have public credibility that is comparable to that of traditional media.
64 Moderately aware citizens tend to be most easily persuaded by news media messages, because poorly aware citizens do not receive media messages and the highly aware are more resistant to change their pre-held attitudes. McGuire, W. (ed.), Personality and Susceptibility to Social Influence (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1968), pp. 1130–87; Converse, P.E., “The nature of belief in mass publics,” in Apter, D. (ed.), Ideology and Discontent (New York: Free Press, 1964), pp. 206–61; Zaller, J., The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992).
For Western journalism researchers, media convergence generally refers to the ‘cooperation and collaboration between formerly distinct media newsrooms and other parts of the modern media company’ (Deuze, 2004: 140). Chinese scholars were considerably inclined to use the phrase ‘full-media’ (Quan Meiti) to describe the convergence process. Full-media, which is a term coined by Chinese media practitioners, implies a figure of oriental holism under the perspective of Chinese traditional philosophy (Ji et al., 2013). Mai (2012: 41) employed observation and in-depth interviews and defined full-media convergence as ‘a mode of structural integration of news production, dissemination and business operation on the platforms of new communication technology’.