Community, Conflict and Coverage: How do Hong Kong and Macau Newspapers Present Conflict with Mainland China?

TitleCommunity, Conflict and Coverage: How do Hong Kong and Macau Newspapers Present Conflict with Mainland China?
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Li, X., and W. Zhu
Affiliation (1st Author)Department of Communication FSH University of Macau
Section or WGJournalism Research and Education Section
DateFri 28 June
Slot CodeJRE F1a
Slot Code (Keyword)JRE F1a
Time of Session9:00-10:30
Session TitleNarratives, Communities and Conflicts in Transforming Environment Theme IV: Methods for Quantifying Professional Journalism
Submission ID5821

Topic area: Global Power, Communication Orders and Crisis        Type of proposal: AAbstract Macau, with a population of 480,000 in 2012, is a small city with certain degree of autonomy after the sovereignty handover to China in 1999.  The mass communication order of Macau is distinctive with other big cosmopolitan cities, such as Hong Kong with a population of more than 6,000,000 , which was handover to China in1997, especially for the newspapers covering the local conflicts and nonlocal conflicts with mainland China. This study of how newspapers address local conflict with mainland China in the two distinctive China SAR cities, contributes to an understanding of how the coverage of conflict related to the community structural pluralism and communication order of China SAR.Since the “one country two system” policy has been implemented in Hong Kong and Macau for more than ten years, lots of local conflicts has broken out both within internal community and with outside groups seriously, especially with mainland China, such as “Anti National Education Event”,  “Imported Inflation from Mainland”, and etc. Studying the press representation of local conflicts comparatively and longitudinally between Hong Kong and Macau, contributes revealing the changes of community structural pluralism, distinctive communication order and power structure under the same policy of “one country two systems”. Besides, identifying the community features and the order in the small modern international city theoretically provides a special case for studying community journalism in the global age.The structural pluralism theory, which is firstly introduced by Olien, Donohue, and Tichenor (1968), then developed by quite a lot of scholars (e.g., Lowrey, et. al, 2008; Nah & Armstrong ,2011; Ryfe, 2002), claims that newspapers in more pluralistic communities tend to cover more community conflicts than smaller structurally homogenous communities to maintain the community cohesion, and coverage of conflicts between local and nonlocal powers indicates the community structural pluralism and the interaction with outside power. In simple homogeneous communities, opinion on issues and the nature of identities tend to be less diverse, and community journalism is more likely to reinforce unity and homogeneity.Content analysis is conducted with purposively sampled newspapers from Hong Kong and Macau represented difference positions to Beijing respectively. News stories and comments are selected both in 2002 and 2012. According to the existing mainstream research findings, the main research hypotheses are: 1) more internal conflicts are reported in Hong Kong than Macau; 2) more conflict with mainland China are reported in Macau than Hong Kong; 3) Hong Kong newspapers are more likely to attribute the cause of conflict to local power, while Macau newspapers are more likely to attribute the cause of conflict to nonlocal power, such as mainland China. The expected outcomes may be different with the existing ones, especially the hypotheses 2 and 3. The aim of this research is to extend the findings of the formal research and build a solid data base of researches on community journalism in Greater China in the global age.

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