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Assessing Media Exemplars and Shifting Journalistic Paradigms: A Survey Study of China’s Journalists
Unformatted Document Text:  35 brought possibilities for alternative modes of doing journalism, but they stop short of restructuring the political system. The simultaneous presence and different effects of the competing journalistic paradigms reflect the tension between media marketization and ideological control in China. Complicating the situation is that the above changes in China take place in a larger context of globalization. External influences, or more precisely, transnational or cross-border interpenetration (Appadurai, 1996; Braman & Sreberny-Mohammadi, 1996; Tomlinson, 1999), are also partly responsible for these patterns to emerge. Exploratory findings from this study show that higher levels of education, fewer years of socialization under the Party-media system, less structurally imposed responsibility of defending the Party-media system, and more frequent exposure to foreign media are all potential routes toward alternative journalistic paradigms. It is possible that these variables capture some elements of “cosmopolitanism” (Tomlinson, 1996) among China’s journalists. This is a compounded concept on individuals’ dispositions that are rooted in both psychological underpinnings and the cultural milieu of a historical time. Moreover, the results in this study reveal certain empirical underpinnings of the various theoretical formulations on the dialectical interactions between global influences and local conditions. These include “glocalization” (Robertson, 1995), “hybridization” (Pieterse, 1995; Tomlinson, 1999), and “interpenetration” (Braman, 1996). Although these concepts may appear convoluted empirically, they suggest one heuristically valuable thesis. That is, globalization is seldom a direct transplantation across cultures. More specific to this study, it means that China’s journalists appropriate the western model of journalism to fit the specific situations in China. While the western media may

Authors: Pan, Zhongdang. and Chan, Joseph Man.
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35
brought possibilities for alternative modes of doing journalism, but they stop short of
restructuring the political system. The simultaneous presence and different effects of the
competing journalistic paradigms reflect the tension between media marketization and
ideological control in China.
Complicating the situation is that the above changes in China take place in a
larger context of globalization. External influences, or more precisely, transnational or
cross-border interpenetration (Appadurai, 1996; Braman & Sreberny-Mohammadi, 1996;
Tomlinson, 1999), are also partly responsible for these patterns to emerge. Exploratory
findings from this study show that higher levels of education, fewer years of socialization
under the Party-media system, less structurally imposed responsibility of defending the
Party-media system, and more frequent exposure to foreign media are all potential routes
toward alternative journalistic paradigms. It is possible that these variables capture some
elements of “cosmopolitanism” (Tomlinson, 1996) among China’s journalists. This is a
compounded concept on individuals’ dispositions that are rooted in both psychological
underpinnings and the cultural milieu of a historical time.
Moreover, the results in this study reveal certain empirical underpinnings of the
various theoretical formulations on the dialectical interactions between global influences
and local conditions. These include “glocalization” (Robertson, 1995), “hybridization”
(Pieterse, 1995; Tomlinson, 1999), and “interpenetration” (Braman, 1996). Although
these concepts may appear convoluted empirically, they suggest one heuristically
valuable thesis. That is, globalization is seldom a direct transplantation across cultures.
More specific to this study, it means that China’s journalists appropriate the western
model of journalism to fit the specific situations in China. While the western media may


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