Over the past two decades, China’s media convergence has undergone three stages (Li, 2017; Yu, 2015). Stage I lasted from the mid-1990s to the late 1990s, during which the content of traditional media was transplanted onto the new media platform. Stage II began in the early years of the 21st century, during which traditional media co-produced content with new media. Stage III started in 2006 and continues to the present, during which traditional media collaborated with new media in many aspects. All the stages of media convergence concur with the conglomeration and capitalisation of Chinese media industries. China’s media reform has constituted the basic context of domestic media convergence. For the past 40 years, the main drive of China’s media reform is the state. Each critical time point of media reform cannot proceed without the propulsion of the national policy from top to bottom.
Approaches to writing instruction developed in North America have gradually made their presence felt in other parts of the world during recent years. A curricular evaluation of the local needs, instruction, assessments, teacher preparation, and other pedagogical factors is crucial for the successful transmission and integration of those approaches into the new contexts. Set against the background of recent, exuberant scholarly discussions of the issue of transplanting Western writing pedagogies, this article presents an observational report of a typical college English curriculum for non-majors in China, with a focus on its writing component. The study has found that English writing is taught under the guidance of a nationally unified syllabus and examination system. Rather than assisting their students to develop thoughts in writing, teachers in this system are predominantly concerned about the teaching of correct form and test-taking skills. Because of their relatively low economic status in China, English teachers have to work extra hours and have little time to spend on individual students or on furthering their professional training. However, signs of recent Western writing pedagogies, such as pre-writing and multiple-drafting activities, are identified in classrooms and textbook publishing, which indicate the possibility of successful adaptations of the recent Western writing pedagogies in the Chinese context.
After filling the gap in policy, advertising has significantly promoted its proportion in media revenue. As of October 1992, domestic newspapers that achieved financial independence had accounted for one-third of the nationwide total (Zhao, 1998: 50). Since then on, advocating and promoting economic development and strengthening of media industry have become a dominant agenda of China’s media reform.
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.
Despite the party-market corporatism, Lee et al. (2007) explained that significant multiplicity continues to exist in the developmental path of local media because of differences in power structure and market maturity. Guangzhou media represent the ‘market competition within party-state ideological limits’ pattern. For example, three press groups in Guangzhou compete fiercely with separate content strategies, while Guangzhou Daily and Yangchen Evening Daily cater primarily to daily life relevance and avoid ‘grand narratives’, Nanfang City Daily and Nanfang Weekend often expose official wrongdoings and advocate liberal ideas. Beijing media that are hierarchically structured in parallel to national, ministerial and municipal levels of administrative authorities compete both horizontally and vertically for power and market on behalf of their patrons and constituencies, thus represent the ‘managed diversity through a precarious of the emerging interest politics among counterbalancing power bases’ pattern. For example, as the authors put it, the supreme leader Mao had to turn to the Shanghai press to wage wars against the Beijing Daily on the eve of the period of the Cultural Revolution because his influence at that point could not fully reach the constituency of the Beijing Daily (Lee et al., 2007).
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).
Zhang, ZA, Wu, T (2014) The dual declinings of propagandist and watchdog roles: Chinese Journalists’ media role perception, the changes and antecedents (‘Xuanchuanzhe’ yu ‘jianduzhe’ de shaungchong shiwei: Zhongguo xinwen congyezhe meijie juese renzhi, bianqian ji yingxiang yinsu). Journal of International Communication (Guoji xinwenjie) 6: 61–75.
Understanding why most interviewed journalists also asserted that the assumptions that ‘multi-skilled journalists’ who can write, photograph and edit is unrealistic (if not entirely unreasonable), and claimed that newspaper journalists should be differentiated from specialised new media journalists who will transform into expert-type journalists in the future by delivering objective, rational and in-depth reportage on a certain subdivided domain. In this conception, new media practitioners remain quite distinct from their peers from the traditional media. However, such a difference has undergone slight changes, that is, traditional media practitioners have begun to admit and accept the possibility that their new media counterparts may be professionalised in the domain of news production. Journalists are consulting about their roles in reference to new media, although they are more inclined towards constriction rather than extension when adjusting their professional boundaries.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The majority of the scholarly analyses of convergence under the culture-oriented perspective have focused on its effects on routines, skills and roles. Several studies indicate that media convergence has changed the routine of information gathering, editing and reporting within newsrooms (Phillips et al., 2009); made journalistic practices considerably stressful with the emergence of multiskilling (Wallace, 2013) and posed severe challenges on the traditional roles of news media, such as ‘gatekeeper’ (Williams and Delli Carpini, 2000) and ‘agenda-setter’ (Quandt and Singer, 2009), as the tendency of convergence between professional- and user-produced content becomes increasingly appreciable. Other studies that employed the same approach indicate that although journalists are confronted with multiple challenges, they do not necessarily take a negative stance to evaluating media convergence. Accordingly, the degree of media convergence (Saltzis and Dickinson, 2008) and size of a media organisation (Mishra, 2014) can affect the perceptions journalists have on convergence journalism, thereby affecting their attitude towards media convergence.