International Media Representation of Contemporary China

Zhang, Li (2016) International Media Representation of Contemporary China. In: Oxford Bibliographies in Chinese Studies. Oxford University Press.

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Although writers from ancient Rome knew of and commented on China, the earliest detailed image was that of the 13th-century Italian, Marco Polo. Since his time, travelers, scholars, missionaries, priests, merchants, diplomats, and journalists have all contributed to images about China. However, it is mainly since the early 20th century that information communication technology has developed to the extent of enabling a fairly comprehensive portrayal of China. The mass media have played a crucial role. The People’s Republic of China started its economic reform in the late 1970s, and since then, the world has witnessed the reemergence and rise of China in the international arena. Not only has the volume of news flows from and about China significantly increased since the late 1990s, but, along with this, academic interest in knowing the representation of contemporary China by the international media has also grown both within and outside China. A large volume of the research is conducted by scholars based in China and Chinese-speaking academics in the West. Most studies examine the general nature of the media image of China in a particular national or regional context, such as the United States, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Arabic countries, Africa, and so on. But some also look at how certain events in China have been portrayed in foreign media, and some focus on a specific type of image concerning China. The growing literature discusses the international media representation of contemporary China concerning China’s tourism, business, politics, society, and international relations. A general concern evident in the literature as argued by some researchers is that the international media, particularly the American media, is largely negative in reporting on China. When representing China as the “other” vis-a-vis “us,” ideological differences and stereotypes play a key role. Other factors such as economy, journalism, language, and culture are also important in shaping the coverage of China by the international media. Many studies further explore the impact of such representation on the perception of China and China’s international relations by people outside the country. In recent years the Chinese government has made a conscious effort to build a benign image of China abroad and to exert China’s international influence in the field of communications. There is thus great significance in analyzing China’s international media representation through the prism of China’s soft power and public diplomacy activities. This bibliography only includes works written in English and Chinese languages.

Item Type: Book Section
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
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Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2016 09:43
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2021 17:12
DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780199920082-0123

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