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Assessing Media Exemplars and Shifting Journalistic Paradigms: A Survey Study of Chinaís Journalists
Unformatted Document Text:  5 discourses, the paradigms that are articulated by the identifiable discourses all appear fragmented and situationally deformed in actual journalistic practices. However, some typifying cases can still be identified. In China, although all media are state-owned, some are explicitly designated as ‚ÄúParty organs‚ÄĚ (e.g., the official People‚Äôs Daily and the ‚Äúorgan paper‚ÄĚ in each province or municipality) or state organs (e.g., the official China Central Television or CCTV). Despite the reforms to introduce market mechanisms into the system, there is little ambiguity that these are exemplars of the party-press paradigm. Based on fieldwork evidence (Pan & Lu, 2002), it is also clear that to China‚Äôs journalists, the New York Times, BBC, and CNN, the so-called elite media outlets in the West, typify the western model of journalism. To the extent that China‚Äôs journalists recognize these media outlets as typifying competing journalistic paradigms, we should find evidence in support of the following hypothesis: H 1 There are clear distinctions in how China‚Äôs journalists evaluate China‚Äôs party- organ media and elite western media. This hypothesis can be specified further in the context of the media reforms. Any paradigm has the attribute of inertia, i.e., the tendency of resisting change until significant external or internal forces act upon it. The marketization of the media in China (Chan, 1993; Zhao, 1998) during the reforms is such a powerful force. In the U.S., historically, market democracy has been a necessary condition for the development of journalistic professionalism (Schudson, 1978). Although China is far from a democracy, the reforms to build media and consumer markets have ignited significant paradigm-change forces,

Authors: Pan, Zhongdang. and Chan, Joseph Man.
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5
discourses, the paradigms that are articulated by the identifiable discourses all appear
fragmented and situationally deformed in actual journalistic practices.
However, some typifying cases can still be identified. In China, although all
media are state-owned, some are explicitly designated as ‚ÄúParty organs‚ÄĚ (e.g., the official
People‚Äôs Daily and the ‚Äúorgan paper‚ÄĚ in each province or municipality) or state organs
(e.g., the official China Central Television or CCTV). Despite the reforms to introduce
market mechanisms into the system, there is little ambiguity that these are exemplars of
the party-press paradigm. Based on fieldwork evidence (Pan & Lu, 2002), it is also clear
that to China’s journalists, the New York Times, BBC, and CNN, the so-called elite media
outlets in the West, typify the western model of journalism. To the extent that China’s
journalists recognize these media outlets as typifying competing journalistic paradigms,
we should find evidence in support of the following hypothesis:
H
1
There are clear distinctions in how China’s journalists evaluate China’s party-
organ media and elite western media.
This hypothesis can be specified further in the context of the media reforms. Any
paradigm has the attribute of inertia, i.e., the tendency of resisting change until significant
external or internal forces act upon it. The marketization of the media in China (Chan,
1993; Zhao, 1998) during the reforms is such a powerful force. In the U.S., historically,
market democracy has been a necessary condition for the development of journalistic
professionalism (Schudson, 1978). Although China is far from a democracy, the reforms
to build media and consumer markets have ignited significant paradigm-change forces,


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