Mediatization with Chinese characteristics: Political legitimacy, public diplomacy and the new art of propaganda

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Mediatization of Communication, 2014, pp. 87 - 108
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© 2014 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston. Mediatization has become a fact of life in China, as have globalization, urbanization, and commercialization. Yetchanges in the Chinese media and communication practices in the reforms era have almost always been documented within the framework of duality between the state and market. Little attention has been paid to the ways in which media logic informsand shapes the interplay of these sometimes oppositional, sometimes complicit forces. While the state is keen to experiment with a range of media forms and formats, it is more interested in mediatization by the government and less interested inmediatization of politics. This discussion shows that while such media practices may have worked to some extent to maintain social stability at home, it has become increasingly problematic as China intensifies its public diplomacy efforts to engage and communicate with members of the public in foreign countries. By discussing the challenges facing China′s state media in its selection and presentation of Chinese news for the consumption of foreign audiences, this chapter arguesthat capacity of the Chinese state to harness mediatization is crucial to its soft power objectives. This discussion adds a cross cultural dimension to its theorization, and at the same time facilitates a much needed rethinking of the propaganda practices pursued by Chinese media.
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