Coverage of China in the UK national press

Sparks, C. 2010. Coverage of China in the UK national press. Chinese Journal of Communication. 3 (3), pp. 347-365.

TitleCoverage of China in the UK national press
AuthorsSparks, C.
Abstract

This article analyzes the coverage of China in the UK national daily press for the calendar year 2008. The article demonstrates that, although there were many articles mentioning China, these were distributed throughout the year so as to emphasize large-scale and dramatic events. Second, the articles were not evenly distributed across the titles analyzed. The big-selling down-market titles had very few substantial articles on China. The mid-market titles had more, but the total was still very small. Only the up-market titles, with their elite readership, covered China regularly and in depth. The article then compares the quality of the coverage through an analysis of the frames present in the Sun, the Daily Express, and the Financial Times. The article finds that the coverage had some similarities across all titles, but that the two more popular titles concentrated on negative aspects of China while the elite title carried more nuanced coverage. It is speculated that the Financial Times has more detailed and better-rounded coverage of China primarily because the readers are much more likely to have professional and personal relations with China and need a better picture of the realities of that country. The less wealthy and well-educated readers of the other papers have little direct experience of China, and the country can be used as one of the markers of a dangerous and threatening world. It is noted that this is an analysis of what is present in newspapers, and no valid conclusions can be drawn about audience attitudes from this evidence.

JournalChinese Journal of Communication
Journal citation3 (3), pp. 347-365
ISSN1754-4750
Year2010
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/17544750.2010.499637
Publication dates
Published2010

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