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Assessing Media Exemplars and Shifting Journalistic Paradigms: A Survey Study of China’s Journalists
Unformatted Document Text:  36 serve as a source of inspiration (Pan & Lu, 2002), searching for the “right” Chinese translation is a persistent effort. Empirically, this argument suggests that while some prominent western media outlets may serve as exemplars for China’s journalists who are inclined towards the professional model, they will readily identify with a “glocalized” exemplar if there is a good one. A local medium, after all, is always a more direct and imminent reference. The almost unanimous high appraisal of the Southern Weekend is a clear case in point. The weekly is still subject to party controls, yet it is willing to take a more independent and so far economically successful approach to journalism. Judging by these key observable attributes, the weekly exemplifies the professional media in China’s local conditions at this historical juncture. In contrast, Xinmin Evening and the other evening and urban papers emulating it represent another type of “hybridization.” They can be viewed as how Party-journalism may adapt to the changing conditions by incorporating the market logic. Such a route has been promoted by the Party-state authority to continue its control over the media (Zhao, 1998; 2000a). To this extent, Xinmin Evening and its emulators may be viewed as exemplars of how to salvage the ailing Party-press paradigm. This contrast in connection with the domestic and foreign media exemplars shows that the foreign-local distinction is an important demarcation line between the two competing journalistic paradigms in China but it intersects with the domestic ideological spectrum. The results of how appraisals of the domestic and foreign media exemplars relate to one another are indicative of such intersections of internal changes with external influences in China’s media reforms. While paradigm shifts are a systemic phenomenon, this study only analyzes data

Authors: Pan, Zhongdang. and Chan, Joseph Man.
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36
serve as a source of inspiration (Pan & Lu, 2002), searching for the “right” Chinese
translation is a persistent effort. Empirically, this argument suggests that while some
prominent western media outlets may serve as exemplars for China’s journalists who are
inclined towards the professional model, they will readily identify with a “glocalized”
exemplar if there is a good one. A local medium, after all, is always a more direct and
imminent reference. The almost unanimous high appraisal of the Southern Weekend is a
clear case in point. The weekly is still subject to party controls, yet it is willing to take a
more independent and so far economically successful approach to journalism. Judging
by these key observable attributes, the weekly exemplifies the professional media in
China’s local conditions at this historical juncture.
In
contrast,
Xinmin Evening and the other evening and urban papers emulating it
represent another type of “hybridization.” They can be viewed as how Party-journalism
may adapt to the changing conditions by incorporating the market logic. Such a route has
been promoted by the Party-state authority to continue its control over the media (Zhao,
1998; 2000a). To this extent, Xinmin Evening and its emulators may be viewed as
exemplars of how to salvage the ailing Party-press paradigm. This contrast in connection
with the domestic and foreign media exemplars shows that the foreign-local distinction is
an important demarcation line between the two competing journalistic paradigms in
China but it intersects with the domestic ideological spectrum. The results of how
appraisals of the domestic and foreign media exemplars relate to one another are
indicative of such intersections of internal changes with external influences in China’s
media reforms.
While paradigm shifts are a systemic phenomenon, this study only analyzes data


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