China Media Research - Current Issue

CMR 12(2)

Issue Vol. 12, No. 2 / April 2016


[Special Section]
Social Memory, Media and Nation Building in Greater China

Guest Editor: Chiaoning Su, Temple University


Introduction: Mediated Memory and Nation Building in Greater China

Author(s): Chiaoning Su

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[Chiaoning Su. Introduction: Mediated Memory and Nation Building in Greater China. China Media Research 2016; 12(2): 1-3]. 1

Rhetorically Re-configuring China’s Past and Present through Nostalgia: Chinese Media Coverage of the 50th Anniversary of The Red Detachment of Women

Author(s): Michelle Murray Yang

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This study examines social memory of the Cultural Revolution as well as contemporary state nationalism within China by rhetorically analyzing Chinese media coverage of the 50thanniversary of the ballet The Red Detachment of Women, or RDW. I argue journalists characterized the ballet as a metaphor for the CCP. By privileging nostalgia and praising the ballet as a distinctly Chinese achievement, media outlets depicted RDW as a cultural achievement and attributed it to the CCP. Emphasizing nostalgic views ofthe Party and claiming RDW transcended the politics of the Cultural Revolution through its artistic innovation, news coverage purified the ballet’s social memory and distanced the CCP from this devastating time period. Although media coverage distilled social memory of the Cultural Revolution into an innocuous form, I contend that such nostalgic remembrances obscure troubling parallels between the nationalism propagated during the Cultural Revolution and contemporary state nationalism in China. [MichelleMurray Yang. Rhetorically Re-configuring China’s Past and Present through Nostalgia: Chinese Media Coverage of the 50th Anniversary of The Red Detachment of Women. China Media Research 2016; 12(2): 4-14]. 2 Keywords:state nationalism, social memory, Cultural Revolution, yang ban xi, The Red Detachment of Women

Disasters, Corruption, Propaganda and Spin

Author(s): Kay Hearn

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In Peoples Republic of China (PRC) there is a shift from information control and suppression to information management, marked by public relations spin. The internet has played a role in this shift and has given the central government in Beijing a window on the activities of provincial governments, enabling authorities in Beijing to reinforce central authority over politics. This paper looks at several case studies of the reporting and management of several incidents where the internet was used by private citizens to air their views or concerns. The examples used illustrate how the internet can be viewed as both liberating and a tool of repression and serve as practical illustrations of the ways in which the management of the internet is used to maintain the authority of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP). [Kay Hearn. Disasters, Corruption, Propaganda and Spin. China Media Research 2016; 12(2): 15-22]. 3

Selling the Past: Korea and China’s Nation-Branding to Host Winter Olympic Games

Author(s): Ju Oak Kim

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This study examines how nations have employed bidding presentations for global sporting events during the past decade as an opportunity for nation branding. A comparative analysis of the bidding presentations for the 2018 and 2022 Winter Olympic Games has unveiled the ways in which two East Asian nations--Korea and China--reshaped their past narratives to highlight their suitability for hosting this global event. Both nations emphasized their previous experience in hosting mega-sporting events and dramatized the success stories of legendary Olympic champions and worldwide sports stars to command credibility from the international community. However, differences were identified in the ways each country shaped its past: whereas Korea embellished its economic growth by recalling its dismal past, China described how it would re-live past glories. This East Asian case study concludes that nations construct powerful and positive national images through the dramatization of their past in the international sports community. [Ju Oak Kim. Selling the Past: Korea and China’s Nation-Branding to Host Winter Olympic Games. China Media Research 2016; 12(2): 23-29]. 4

‘My Country, the Land Where My Blood is Spilled’: Oral History of Chinese-language Media Professionals in Malaysia

Author(s): WU, Mei, YE, Lin

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This paper includes oral testimony of four Chinese-language media professionals in Malaysia. Their stories, which started from the 1940s, exhibit how Chinese-language media workers have adapted themselves in Malaysia and rooted themselves deeply in society. Several identity-related themes are discovered: 1) my country, mnation; 2) I love the Chinese language and have enjoyed it all my life; 3) I’m proud and believe we are respected. Against the backdrop of globalization, the new-generation of Chinese Malaysians has developed a more open-minded self-identity. [WU, Mei. ‘My Country, the Land Where My Blood is Spilled’:Oral History of Chinese-language Media Professionals in Malaysia. China Media Research 2016; 12(2): 30-41]. 5

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Proverbs as a Mirror of Culture: American and Chinese Values Contrasted

Author(s): Xiangyang Zhang

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As an important part of language, proverbs and culture are closely interrelated. They serve as a “window” through which one can observe and perceive the basic elements of a culture, of which values are an integral one. Because proverbs often reflect and describe common human experiences and the law of nature, they are thus universal, the same message can be discovered in proverbs in different cultures. Meanwhile, they are also specific. There exist numerous proverbs that each culture uses to teach lessons that are unique to that particular culture. In other words, differing values may be expressed in proverbs of different cultures. This paper attempts to examine American and Chinese values through specific proverbs in each culture so as to better reveal some of the discrepancies between the two value systems. This contrastive study, with a slew of proverbs to buttress the discussion, is carried out in the following aspects: 1) individualism versus collectivism, 2) different concepts of privacy, and 3) different views toward time, which are believed to influence intercultural communication greatly. It is hoped that the study will help facilitate intercultural communication and ensure sustainability in this age of globalization. [Xiangyang Zhang. Proverbs as a Mirror of Culture: American and Chinese Values Contrasted. China Media Research 2016; 12(2): 42-51]. 6

The Role of Institutional Trust in Country-of-Origin Effect: A Comparative Study of Two Milk Powder Contamination Incidents

Author(s): Qing Huang

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Drawing upon two milk powder contamination incidents caused by Yili (a Chinese dairy corporation) and Fonterra (a New Zealand dairy corporation), this study proposes to understand country-of-origin effect in terms of people’s trust in the institutions of a country. Institutions as rules are implemented by actors, and institutional trust is accordingly defined as people’s trust in rule implementation by the dairy industry and government agencies in a country. Relevant social media posts were selected for analysis. Content analysis shows that people’s trust in Yili was significantly lower than that in Fonterra, indicating that country-of-origin effect did exist. Thematic analysis demonstrates China dairy industry’s unethical behaviors and Chinese government agencies’ ineffective regulation, implying people’s distrust in rule implementation in China. By contrast, thematic analysis denotes New Zealand dairy industry’s ethical behaviors and New Zealand government agencies’ effective regulation, suggesting people’s trust in rule implementation in New Zealand. Given that the focal corporation is related to the dairy industry and government agencies through the rule, the difference in people’s trust in rule implementation between two countries explains the gap between their trust in Yili and Fonterra. Suggestions for rebuilding institutional trust in China are discussed. [Qing Huang. The Role of Institutional Trust in Country-of-Origin Effect: A Comparative Study of Two Milk Powder Contamination Incidents. China Media Research 2016; 12(2): 52-62]. 7

Patterns of Cultural Awareness of Rural Development among the Local Audience: A Study of Selected Local Media

Author(s): Muhammad Kabir Yusuf

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Information is central to all forms of human activity. No matter the field; there is the need for exchange of information to ensure completion of task. Inefficiency will be the results, where this exchange of information is slow or there is a break down. For this reason, information is regarded as vital resources that need to be properly developed, because it has boomerang effect on society. Consequently, a society that has poor communication and information infrastructure perpetually lags behind others that hard efficient information infrastructure (Moemeka 1985). Rural radio helps to achieved development in the rural areas, as issues of development are aired to audience in the form of various programs and individual are exposes to happenings in and aroundtheir society, through listening to these program communication serves as the basic element of interaction and information sharing in life. Communication creates pool of ideas, strengthens the feeling of togetherness, the exchange of messages and translates through thoughts, into action. Radio communication educates on new issues inherent in the society. For example, issues on politics, business, current affairs e.t.c, are aired to create awareness. Radio serves as an agent of social mobilization; people are moved to delivering a certain goal, based on their awareness of their rights and responsibilities to the society. Thus this study examines the place of Harmony Fm Idofian, Ilorin, Kwara State in rural development. [Muhammad Kabir Yusuf. Patterns of Cultural Awareness of Rural Development among the Local Audience: A Study of Selected Local Media. China Media Research 2016; 12(2): 63-75]. 8

Online Social Connection: Exploring International Students’ Use of New Media in Their Adaptation Process

Author(s): Ran Ju, Moyi Jia

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This study provided empirical evidence of the significant relationship between social media usage and international students’ cross-cultural adaptation. Considering their increasing attendance at American universities, Chinese students in the U.S. are the focus of the current study. Using the Cross-Cultural Adaptation Model (CCAM, Kim, 2005) as the theoretical frame, this study revealed the communication patterns (face-to-face, as well as social media communication and the other online forms of communication) for cultural adaptation of students based on data collected through surveys (n=102) and diaries (n=88). Survey results suggested that face-to-face communication and social media communication, but not general other forms of online communication, were positively related to students’ cultural adaption levels. Diary-based data provided more detailed information on the specific activities happening in these three media contexts. Based on these findings, some implications on how to help international students’ cultural adaptation process were offered. [Ran Ju, Moyi Jia, Mirit Shoham. Online Social Connection: Exploring International Students’ Use of New Media in Their Adaptation Process. China Media Research 2016; 12(2): 76-89]. 9

Activism in China: Power and Confrontation Strategies in a Chinese Village

Author(s): Yang Cheng

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Corresponding to the activism research in the critical public relations field, this study explores the case that occurred in Wukan, a confrontation crisis that was triggered by land rights and compensation disputes in contemporary China. A total of 1,002 news coverage and 2,424 public comments via micro-blogs are examined through the theoretical lenses of activism, power, and public relations strategies. Findings illustrate the power dynamics between the government and activists, successfully identify activists’ confrontation strategies and measure the effectiveness. Data show that the more compromised the confrontation strategies are, the more neutral media tone and public attitudes are. Theoretical and contextual implications derived from the findings in modern Chinese society are elaborated. [Yang Cheng. Activism in China: Power and Confrontation Strategies in a Chinese Village. China Media Research 2016; 12(2): 90-104]. 10


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