Author: Yang, Weizhong
Title: Media representations of China’s image : a comparison of China Daily and South China Morning Post
Advisors: Wu, Doreen (CBS)
Degree: DALS
Year: 2021
Subject: Mass media -- China
China -- In mass media
China -- Press coverage
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Faculty of Humanities
Pages: ix, 267 pages : illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: China's image and its media representation have caught increasing attention in recent years; nonetheless, existing comparative studies have been confined to a comparison of media reporting between China and the West. Therefore, the present study aims to examine, from the perspective of critical discourse analysis, how English media in the Chinese mainland versus that in Hong Kong construct the image of China through the explicit and implicit realization of the language resources. It is hoped that the study can make a significant contribution to the study of media discourses in Greater China, with special attention to the commonalities and differences between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong. It is also hoped that the study can provide constructive feedback for China in its efforts of narrating to the world. The study has selected China Daily (hereafter CD) and South China Morning Post (hereafter SCMP) to represent English media based in the Chinese mainland and in Hong Kong respectively. It examines in details the convergence and divergence in constructing China's image in the BRI reports of the two newspapers. By extracting news reports on the theme of "One Belt One Road" from these two media from 2013 to 2016, two corpora of CD and SCMP have been established. Integrating the analysis methods of communication and linguistics, the study has critically examined and compared various image representations of China's image in the BRI reporting by CD versus SCMP via thematic analysis, semantic appraisals and metaphorical representation.
The thematic analysis reveals that across both CD and SCMP, media representation of China's image can be found in both explicit and implicit themes. The explicit themes include BRI, China & its organization, Investment, trade & infrastructure, Hong Kong & its organization, and International relations whereas the implicit themes focus on "Xi" and "regional issues". However, while CD emphasizes development, cooperation, political stability and mutual benefits of China with its countries and regions along the Belt & Road, SCMP tends to highlight concerns, challenges, and (in)sustainability of BRI. Semantic appraisal analysis compares lexis and collocation constructions, which indicate positive versus negative evaluations of China's image divergence by CD and SCMP in their news reports of BRI. In CD, the roles of China and the BRI-related events and developments are all positively evaluated in their reports. However, in SCMP, the appraisal of China's image is diverse. In comparing metaphorical representations of China's image, conceptual metaphors are extracted based on 6 nouns (company, market, problem, product, project and reform) under H1 semantic field as source domains shared by both corpora. The findings show that the themes, semantic appraisals and metaphors of the two newspapers have portrayed China's image mostly based on the interests and advantages demanded by their respective social contexts. Contrary to previous studies which have found China's media as "blind to other's perspective" and American's media as "othering perspective", the study finds that SCMP is primarily professionalism-driven in media practice, taking a neutral and objective stance and providing access to multiple voices in their reporting of BRI. It has higher credibility among global readers and can serve as a useful supplement to CD's coverage of China and its representation of China's image.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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