Journalistic culture in contemporary China: media control, journalistic corruption, and the impact of social media

Xu, Di (2014) Journalistic culture in contemporary China: media control, journalistic corruption, and the impact of social media. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Over the last three decades, Chinese society has experienced dramatic social change. China is now turning into a global superpower, both economically and militarily but not necessarily politically. Western media often embarrass Chinese political leaders for their suppression on free speech and deviation from political democracy. This is the wider social context in which this thesis locates its enquiries.
The Chinese media are deeply involved in this social transition. This thesis intends to provide an up-to-date investigation into journalistic culture in contemporary China, where journalism undergoes political suppression, commercial imperatives, and technological upgrades. This thesis examines the key tenets of practising journalism. It focuses on three areas: (1) the norms of practising journalism under political suppression, (2) the main forms of and roots of journalistic corruption that have brought forth by media commercialisation, and (3) the changes and continuities in journalistic practices associated with social media.
This research is mainly based on six individual interviews and six focus group interviews, carried out between January 2012 and February 2012 in Beijing and Shanghai. The research is also supported by materials gained through personal communication in these cities.
The research concludes that self-censorship and journalistic corruption are two prominent features of contemporary Chinese journalism. Social media have brought both changes and continuities to journalistic practices and media control methods. In analysing the factors shaping contemporary journalism, journalists tend to highlight the impact of traditional Chinese culture. This research, however, suggests that culture does not always play a determinative role. Political, economic and cultural factors, alongside other elements, all contribute to shaping journalism. We need a more dynamic and comprehensive perspective in examining journalism, which should be spatial-temporally constructed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Media control, journalistic corruption, social media
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Supervisor's Name: Schlesinger, Professor Philip and Boyle, Professor Raymond
Date of Award: 2014
Depositing User: Ms. Di Xu
Unique ID: glathesis:2014-5354
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2014 13:32
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2017 08:08

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