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Assessing Media Exemplars and Shifting Journalistic Paradigms: A Survey Study of China’s Journalists
Unformatted Document Text:  12 Accepting a paradigm for any individual results in part from one’s training, as well as one’s practices (Kuhn, 1970). If so, then, acceptance of a paradigm may also be revealed by the kinds of desired trainings that one deems necessary. Consistent with the party-journalism paradigm, China’s journalism education traditionally emphasizes on understanding Marxist-Lennist-Maoist thoughts, the Party policies, the “propaganda disciplines” (i.e., rules and requirements for doing journalistic work in accordance to the Party line), and journalistic skills (Cheek, 1989; Chu & Fang, 1972). All of these are considered necessary ingredients of becoming good Party propagandists. Since the reforms, the curriculum of journalism education has expanded significantly. Courses in western mass communication research, social science and humanities theories have been added. However, the basic tenet remains that of the Party journalism and the additional courses suffer from the lack of substance due to the lack of training of journalism faculty in these areas. 9 Many journalism students and recent graduates from elite journalism programs in the nation complain about the obsolescence of journalism curriculum. Therefore, differences in accepting the competing journalistic paradigms may also be reflected in journalists’ differential emphases on various components of desired journalistic training, for example, Party principles or general liberal arts. We expect positive appraisals of elite western media to be positively related to the emphasis on liberal arts training and positive appraisals of the Party-organs to be positively associated with emphasis on Party journalism training. We will also examine how the perceived importance of training in theoretical and ethical understanding of journalism as well as in 9 Systematic research on China’s journalism education is lacking. However, these are observations we have obtained in our repeated visits of top journalism programs in China and our exchanges with many journalism faculty members and students. They are corroborated with observations by others (see Wu, 2002; Yu & Chu, 2002).

Authors: Pan, Zhongdang. and Chan, Joseph Man.
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12
Accepting a paradigm for any individual results in part from one’s training, as
well as one’s practices (Kuhn, 1970). If so, then, acceptance of a paradigm may also be
revealed by the kinds of desired trainings that one deems necessary. Consistent with the
party-journalism paradigm, China’s journalism education traditionally emphasizes on
understanding Marxist-Lennist-Maoist thoughts, the Party policies, the “propaganda
disciplines” (i.e., rules and requirements for doing journalistic work in accordance to the
Party line), and journalistic skills (Cheek, 1989; Chu & Fang, 1972). All of these are
considered necessary ingredients of becoming good Party propagandists. Since the
reforms, the curriculum of journalism education has expanded significantly. Courses in
western mass communication research, social science and humanities theories have been
added. However, the basic tenet remains that of the Party journalism and the additional
courses suffer from the lack of substance due to the lack of training of journalism faculty
in these areas.
9
Many journalism students and recent graduates from elite journalism
programs in the nation complain about the obsolescence of journalism curriculum.
Therefore, differences in accepting the competing journalistic paradigms may also be
reflected in journalists’ differential emphases on various components of desired
journalistic training, for example, Party principles or general liberal arts. We expect
positive appraisals of elite western media to be positively related to the emphasis on
liberal arts training and positive appraisals of the Party-organs to be positively associated
with emphasis on Party journalism training. We will also examine how the perceived
importance of training in theoretical and ethical understanding of journalism as well as in
9
Systematic research on China’s journalism education is lacking. However, these are observations we
have obtained in our repeated visits of top journalism programs in China and our exchanges with many
journalism faculty members and students. They are corroborated with observations by others (see Wu,
2002; Yu & Chu, 2002).


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