The beliefs and practices of Chinese regional television journalists

De Burgh, H., 2001. The beliefs and practices of Chinese regional television journalists. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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This study examines the beliefs and practices of Chinese television journalists in order to understand whether there is a distinct way of being a Chinese journalist. It is based on 39 interviews, carried out between April 1998 and December 2000, of which 25 were with television journalists.

The issues considered include the inchoate professionalism of journalists at a time of weakening state control over certain aspects of the media, and of vast expansion; the greater responsiveness of journalists to the market; the debate as to whether they should be tribunes of the citizenry rather than messengers of authority; whether the changes in hand indicate 'westernisation' or the adaptation of traditional ideas to new conditions.

The study found that there is a contradiction between the practices of news production, which select themes and reconstruct events in a conservative and formulaic manner, and the beliefs of journalists about their social roles. By and large journalists see themselves as representing the interests of the people, although some also still adhere to the Maoist view of the media as mouthpiece of the Party, without necessarily perceiving any contradiction. Journalists are immensely proud of the investigative journalism that has developed over the past few years; although asked to restrict their comments to news they rarely managed to do so, much preferring to draw attention to investigative journalism and interpreting it as reflecting a responsible scrutiny of public affairs.

Pride at the way in which journalism is now able to respond to the citizenry rather than simply reflect the Party indicates that journalists see their principal role as that of tribune. However, ideas about journalism appear to draw more upon Chinese traditional myths of the 'hero official' than upon imported ideas. There is no sense that journalists see themselves as fighting to realise a foreign model.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: De Burgh, H.
Date: 2001
ISBN: 9781369323047
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 30 Nov 2020 16:02
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2023 10:55

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