Scaling lifestyle in China: The emergence of local television cultures and the cultural economy of place-making

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Media International Australia, 2013, (147), pp. 62 - 72
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Media in China consist less and less of national-scale media, and more and more of media at a range of sub-national scales, including the region, province, municipality, county and village. In the television sector, local and provincial television has become national in terms of access, and television at sub-national levels has had to become much more intensely local and provincial as a way to achieve difference, and therefore survive and thrive in the competitive media market. Against this background, this article is a comparative analysis of the production, consumption and actual programs of lifestyle television between local/semi-rural, metropolitan and national television. It argues that a growing recognition of the appreciable value of the 'local' and 'regional' in the cultural economy of place-making has given rise to a plethora of place-specific media forms, and that scale plays a pivotal role in shaping distinct locality-appropriate taste, outlook and sensibility.
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