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A framing analysis of Mainland China and Hong Kong newspaper coverage of two government collective corruption issues in 2000 and 2010 respectively

English Abstract

Using the 2000 Xiamen Yuanhua Smuggling and the 2010 Chongqing Crime Crackdown as study cases, and taking three mainland newspapers and two Hong Kong newspapers as study samples, this study examines the different manners of mainland China media and Hong Kong media to report government collective corruption issues. This study also considers time as a study factor to account for the changes in the media’s report manners during the 10 years. Supported by related theory of news framing and quantitative content analysis, this study, with clear statistics, convincingly demonstrates that there are great differences between the mainland’s Hong Kong’s media manners of reporting government collective corruption issues. Mainland media tends to positively praise the government’s treatments and seldom criticizes, while Hong Kong media tends to criticize the government with a negative attitude and doubts. This study also finds changes within each of these two media groups. In mainland China media, utterly positive reports of the government’s image have decreased to some extent, and some doubts, out of the mainstream belief, begin to appear. Dramatic report styles increase considerably in news reports. In Hong Kong media, utterly negative reports of the government’s image have increased to some extent, but basic ideology doesn’t change much, still based solely on negatives, which may be the result of marketization in IV Hong Kong. This study also discusses the causes of mainland China media’s shift in reporting style: in the market-oriented economic environment, the change of mass media has arisen. In this age of reform, mass media became rich in content openly and with diversity. But the government still has the key control of the mass media, so the change is just the exploration and reform of the inside-system. In conclusion, this study is firstly undertaken to study the different styles of mainland media and Hong Kong media to report the same issues, and secondly to study the changes of both medias’ report manners during the past ten years, and the reasons for the changes. Finally, this study provides a change form of mainland media as reference for further study. Furthermore, this research proposed four frames: issue define, responsibility attribute, problem substance and human interest. It also concludes a Mass Media transformation model Keywords: frame, framing analysis, content analysis, corruption scandal, Chinese newspapers

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Gan, Tian


Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities


Department of Communication




Corruption -- China

Corruption -- Hong Kong

Political corruption -- China

Political corruption -- Hong Kong

Mass media and crime -- China

Mass media and crime -- Hong Kong


Chen, Huai Lin

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