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Assessing Media Exemplars and Shifting Journalistic Paradigms: A Survey Study of China’s Journalists
Unformatted Document Text:  27 conventional significance level. There are some other findings, unpredicted in our hypotheses but consistent with our overall arguments on shifting journalistic paradigms. The different role beliefs affect how each is factored in journalists’ assessment of Party organ papers. When all four of the role beliefs are entered in the equation (beta alone), while the interpretive and popular advocacy variables remain largely unchanged, a significant negative coefficient of the adversarial role emerges (p < .001). It suggests that that the Party organs are evaluated along a demarcation line, with the interpretive and popular advocacy roles on one side and adversarial on the other. The result is consistent with the observation that much of the talks on representing the people and the rise of the so-called “investigative reporting” on the official media are part of the political strategy for the Party to renew its legitimacy and to strengthen its hegemony (Zhao, 2000b). Popular advocacy, in the context of China, does not involve media taking an adversarial posture. Table 4 shows that at the bivariate level, the patterns of relationships between journalistic role beliefs and the assessments of Southern Weekend and Xinmin Evening mimic those of elite foreign media and Party organs. Such evidence lends a further support for H 2 and the validity of the model shown in Figure 1. Similar to the pattern from the elite foreign media equation, only the disseminator role is related to positive appraisals of the Southern Weekend, partially supporting H 3c . However, Xinmin Evening may also be seen in somewhat different terms than typical Party organs. After all four of the role belief variables are considered, only the popular advocacy role survives (beta=.193, p<.01). The interpretive role becomes unrelated to praising Xinmin Evening, providing only a partial support to H 3d . Such

Authors: Pan, Zhongdang. and Chan, Joseph Man.
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27
conventional significance level.
There are some other findings, unpredicted in our hypotheses but consistent with
our overall arguments on shifting journalistic paradigms. The different role beliefs affect
how each is factored in journalists’ assessment of Party organ papers. When all four of
the role beliefs are entered in the equation (beta alone), while the interpretive and popular
advocacy variables remain largely unchanged, a significant negative coefficient of the
adversarial role emerges (p < .001). It suggests that that the Party organs are evaluated
along a demarcation line, with the interpretive and popular advocacy roles on one side
and adversarial on the other. The result is consistent with the observation that much of
the talks on representing the people and the rise of the so-called “investigative reporting”
on the official media are part of the political strategy for the Party to renew its legitimacy
and to strengthen its hegemony (Zhao, 2000b). Popular advocacy, in the context of China,
does not involve media taking an adversarial posture.
Table 4 shows that at the bivariate level, the patterns of relationships between
journalistic role beliefs and the assessments of Southern Weekend and Xinmin Evening
mimic those of elite foreign media and Party organs. Such evidence lends a further
support for H
2
and the validity of the model shown in Figure 1. Similar to the pattern
from the elite foreign media equation, only the disseminator role is related to positive
appraisals of the Southern Weekend, partially supporting H
3c
.
However, Xinmin Evening may also be seen in somewhat different terms than
typical Party organs. After all four of the role belief variables are considered, only the
popular advocacy role survives (beta=.193, p<.01). The interpretive role becomes
unrelated to praising Xinmin Evening, providing only a partial support to H
3d
. Such


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