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Assessing Media Exemplars and Shifting Journalistic Paradigms: A Survey Study of China’s Journalists
Unformatted Document Text:  31 U.S. (Weaver & Wilhoit, 1996, see p. 142 in particular). This finding is also consistent with our earlier arguments that the influences behind paradigm shifts in journalism at the individual level may be quite diffused, subtle, and gradual, and thus difficult to capture with quantitative measures in a cross-sectional survey. In essence, such low predictive power indicates a degree of homogeneity at the individual level. However, the individual parameter estimates are suggestive and are consistent with the general diffusion thesis on how influences take place. First, a few plausible routes of influences can be eliminated based on the evidence. Majoring in journalism or mass communication program shows no bearing on how journalists evaluated different media exemplars. Having direct contacts with overseas media or journalist colleagues, a privilege usually limited to some senior loyal journalists or media managers, as indicated by a substantial portion of no such contacts among the respondents, plays no role either. In addition, there is no difference between broadcasting and print journalists. Second, educational level turns out to be a robust predictor of media assessments. It is related to lower appraisals rendered to Party organs (beta=-.139, p<.05) and their variant such as Xinmin Evening (beta=-.151, p<.05). In a direct opposite, it is related to higher appraisals rendered to elite foreign media (beta=.137, p<.05). This significant positive effect is not due to more exposure to foreign media among journalists with higher levels of education. The exposure variable is controlled for in the equation. However, this effect is not translated to the case of the Southern Weekend. This shows that education, as a form of cultural capital, is a key factor in individuals’ adoption of journalistic paradigms in China. It is related to a broader scope of vision and more knowledge about global media. It may allow some journalists to develop somewhat more independent thinking and bestow them

Authors: Pan, Zhongdang. and Chan, Joseph Man.
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31
U.S. (Weaver & Wilhoit, 1996, see p. 142 in particular). This finding is also consistent
with our earlier arguments that the influences behind paradigm shifts in journalism at the
individual level may be quite diffused, subtle, and gradual, and thus difficult to capture
with quantitative measures in a cross-sectional survey. In essence, such low predictive
power indicates a degree of homogeneity at the individual level.
However, the individual parameter estimates are suggestive and are consistent
with the general diffusion thesis on how influences take place. First, a few plausible
routes of influences can be eliminated based on the evidence. Majoring in journalism or
mass communication program shows no bearing on how journalists evaluated different
media exemplars. Having direct contacts with overseas media or journalist colleagues, a
privilege usually limited to some senior loyal journalists or media managers, as indicated
by a substantial portion of no such contacts among the respondents, plays no role either.
In addition, there is no difference between broadcasting and print journalists. Second,
educational level turns out to be a robust predictor of media assessments. It is related to
lower appraisals rendered to Party organs (beta=-.139, p<.05) and their variant such as
Xinmin Evening (beta=-.151, p<.05). In a direct opposite, it is related to higher appraisals
rendered to elite foreign media (beta=.137, p<.05). This significant positive effect is not
due to more exposure to foreign media among journalists with higher levels of education.
The exposure variable is controlled for in the equation. However, this effect is not
translated to the case of the Southern Weekend. This shows that education, as a form of
cultural capital, is a key factor in individuals’ adoption of journalistic paradigms in China.
It is related to a broader scope of vision and more knowledge about global media. It may
allow some journalists to develop somewhat more independent thinking and bestow them


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