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Assessing Media Exemplars and Shifting Journalistic Paradigms: A Survey Study of Chinas Journalists
Unformatted Document Text:  7 and 2001. 2 However, such structured advantages clearly cannot explain the rise of non- party organ papers. For example, Shanghai’s Xinmin Evening, a tabloid evening paper serving primarily the local residents, ranked second among all newspapers in the nation in advertising revenue in 1999 and third in 2000 and 2001, and had a circulation of about 1.4 million. 3 Commercial success is only a surface indicator of much deeper changes. Xinmin Evening’s internal structural changes to increase efficiency no doubt had contributed to its commercial success (Ding, 1999). More importantly, the paper has created an image that contrasts sharply with that of the traditional Party organs, at least to its readers. It emphasizes on serving Shanghai residents at the level of their everyday life, on reporting soft news and practically “useful” information, and on using a personable and intimate style of writing. 4 These elements, after years of honing (Ding, 1999), have made the paper a widely recognized exemplar of successful service-oriented urban newspapers that operate well within the parameters of the official ideology. It has led to many imitators across the nation (Liu, 2000). Southern Weekend represents a different model. It is a weekly paper owned by the Guangdang provincial party-organ paper and published on each Thursday. However, it has established itself as the general-interest weekly with “the highest credibility, largest 2 “Top 100 advertising media in 2001 in China.” Retrieved from http://chinese.mediachina.net/ 2001zgggph1.jsp?m_id=2381&show=6 on July 30 th , 2002, (in Chinese). 3 Xiangcai Stock & Bond Analysis, “The development of the media industry: A review and forecast.” Retrieved from http://www.chuanmei.net/chuanmeiyefazhan.htm on May 11, 2002 (in Chinese). 4 These observations are taken during the fieldwork between February and June 2002. Circulation and advertising revenue statistics are also available from the paper’s website at http://www.xmwb.com.cn/ xmwb/20020930/gb/introduct.htm (in Chinese).

Authors: Pan, Zhongdang. and Chan, Joseph Man.
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background image
7
and 2001.
2
However, such structured advantages clearly cannot explain the rise of non-
party organ papers. For example, Shanghai’s Xinmin Evening, a tabloid evening paper
serving primarily the local residents, ranked second among all newspapers in the nation
in advertising revenue in 1999 and third in 2000 and 2001, and had a circulation of about
1.4 million.
3
Commercial success is only a surface indicator of much deeper changes. Xinmin
Evening’s internal structural changes to increase efficiency no doubt had contributed to
its commercial success (Ding, 1999). More importantly, the paper has created an image
that contrasts sharply with that of the traditional Party organs, at least to its readers. It
emphasizes on serving Shanghai residents at the level of their everyday life, on reporting
soft news and practically “useful” information, and on using a personable and intimate
style of writing.
4
These elements, after years of honing (Ding, 1999), have made the
paper a widely recognized exemplar of successful service-oriented urban newspapers that
operate well within the parameters of the official ideology. It has led to many imitators
across the nation (Liu, 2000).
Southern Weekend represents a different model. It is a weekly paper owned by
the Guangdang provincial party-organ paper and published on each Thursday. However,
it has established itself as the general-interest weekly with “the highest credibility, largest
2
“Top 100 advertising media in 2001 in China.” Retrieved from
http://chinese.mediachina.net/
2001zgggph1.jsp?m_id=2381&show=6
on July 30
th
, 2002, (in Chinese).
3
Xiangcai Stock & Bond Analysis, “The development of the media industry: A review and forecast.”
Retrieved from
http://www.chuanmei.net/chuanmeiyefazhan.htm
on May 11, 2002 (in Chinese).
4
These observations are taken during the fieldwork between February and June 2002. Circulation and
advertising revenue statistics are also available from the paper’s website at
http://www.xmwb.com.cn/
xmwb/20020930/gb/introduct.htm
(in Chinese).


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