IMPACT OF CULTURE AND IDEOLOGY ON COVERAGE: COMPARING THE PEOPLES REPUBLIC CHINA AND TH E UNITED STATES WEEKLY NEWS MAGAZINES STORIES OF SARS EPIDEMIC By YAO QIN A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN MASS COMMUNICATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2005
Copyright 2005 by Yao Qin
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I thank my parents, sister, and Hao for their continued support and love. iii
TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iii LIST OF TABLES.............................................................................................................vi LIST OF FIGURE S.........................................................................................................viii ABSTRACT.......................................................................................................................ix CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.............................................................................................6 International Spread of SARS?.....................................................................................6 China Explosion of SARS............................................................................................7 SARS in U.S.................................................................................................................9 News Values...............................................................................................................10 Framing.......................................................................................................................11 Visual Framing....................................................................................................13 Framing International News and China Frame...................................................14 Cultural Conflicts........................................................................................................17 Media Theory and Environment.................................................................................20 Libertarianism and Watchdog in U.S..................................................................20 Communism and Partys Throat Is Changing in China.......................................21 Research Questions and Hypotheses..........................................................................23 3 METHODOLOGY.....................................................................................................25 The Sample.................................................................................................................25 Time Span...................................................................................................................26 Unit of Analysis..........................................................................................................27 Coding Guide..............................................................................................................28 Images..................................................................................................................28 Visual Images......................................................................................................28 Degree of Importance..........................................................................................29 Trend of Evaluation.............................................................................................29 Intercoder Reliability..................................................................................................30 iv
4 FINDINGS..................................................................................................................31 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION........................................................................45 Discussion...................................................................................................................45 Conclusion..................................................................................................................54 Limitation...................................................................................................................55 Future Research..........................................................................................................56 APPENDIX CODING PROTOCOL......................................................................................................57 LIST OF REFERENCES...................................................................................................61 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.............................................................................................66 v
LIST OF TABLES Table page 4-1. The articles in Chinese magazines before and after April 20, 2003, news conference................................................................................................................32 4-2. The images in the articles of Chinese magazines before and after April 20, 2003, news conference.......................................................................................................33 4-3. The covers of Chinese magazines before and after April 20, 2003, news conference................................................................................................................34 4-4. The inside photos of Chinese magazines before and after April 20, 2003, news conference................................................................................................................34 4-5. The articles in the U.S. magazines before and after April 20, 2003, news conference................................................................................................................36 4-6. The inside photos in the U.S. magazines before and after April 20, 2003, news conference................................................................................................................36 4-7. The images in the articles of the U.S. magazines before and after April 20, 2003, news conference.......................................................................................................37 4-8. The tone of media in the articles of Chinese magazines before and after April20, 2003, news conference.............................................................................................38 4-9. The tone of media in the articles of the U.S. magazines before and after April20, 2003, news conference.............................................................................................39 4-10. Comparing the images in the articles in the three Chinese magazines to that of U.S. magazines.........................................................................................................40 4-11. Comparing the images in the photos including covers and inside photos in the three Chinese magazines to that of U.S. magazines.................................................41 4-12. The tone of media in the articles of Chinese magazines and the U.S. magazines....42 4-13. The photos of people with masks or not (just photos with people, including covers, but not including the photo without people) Chinese magazines and U.S. magazines.................................................................................................................43 vi
4-14. The virus photos and disease distribution photos in Chinese magazines and U.S. magazines.................................................................................................................44 vii
LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 5-1. Times cover (May 5, 2003) and Sanlian Life Weeklys cover (May 5, 2003)-.........51 5-2. Newsweeks cover (May 5, 2003) and News Weeklys cover (May 5, 2003).............53 viii
Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Mass Communication IMPACT OF CULTURE AND IDEOLOGY ON COVERAGE: COMPARING THE PEOPLES REPUBLIC CHINA AND THE UNITED STATES WEEKLY NEWS MAGAZINES STORIES OF SARS EPIDEMIC By Yao Qin August 2005 Chair: Spiro K. Kiousis Major Department: Journalism and Communications SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) reporting in China and the United States during the early days of coverage of the outbreak can primarily be evaluated by looking at the influences of culture, native political systems, and the media environment. In this study, framing theory is used to examine the differences in news reporting on SARS in major U.S. and Chinese national news magazines. Doing a content analysis of SARS coverage in these magazines provides a strong foundation for a comparative evaluation of the role of mass media in the two countries. To provide evidence on how the media depicted international news, this study analyzed framing in a cross-cultural setting. It focused on finding and comparing how U.S. and Chinese media portrayed SARS epidemic issues differently because of the impact of culture and ideology. The study applied framing analysis to explore the different perspectives in cross-cultural setting, especially within two big countries (China and the United States) which ix
stand for Eastern and Western civilization. The impact of globalization will make necessary a greater understanding of the nature and function of individual nation's media organizations. This study lays the ground work for this further understanding. A deeper mutual understanding of the roles of the media in the two countries will lead to greater understanding and cooperation between the respective governments. The coverage in both countries mutually reflected the influence of their respective culture, ideology, political system, and media environment in the framing of the SARS reporting. In the U.S. magazines, the culture of individualism and position of anticommunism within a libertarian media environment framed SARS to criticize the Chinese government and pay more attention to the ordinary people during the crisis. Chinas collectivistic culture and communist ideology under a media controlled by the government led to reporting of primarily the positive aspects of the SARS issue in framing of the news. x
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) reporting in China and the United States during the early days of coverage of the outbreak can primarily be evaluated by looking at the influences of culture, native political systems, and the media environment (Chen & Shi, 2001; Yu, 2003; Peng, 2004). In this study, framing theory is used to examine the differences in news reporting on SARS in major U.S. and Chinese national news magazines. Doing a content analysis of SARS coverage in these magazines provides a strong foundation for a comparative evaluation of the role of mass media in the two countries. The spring of 2003 was a unique time period for the worlds media. While a war in Iraq had just begun, topping news reporting throughout the world, SARS reporting was just gaining prominence and quickly spreading around the world. Facing a severe public health crisis in China and potentially the world, most major media outlets in the world had SARS reporting in their headlines by the end of April and the beginning of May, when the Chinese government under internal and external pressures, revealed the degree of the spread of SARS on April 20, 2003 (Young, 2003). Facing a sudden health crisis, a functioning public health system that practiced honesty and transparency was urgently needed in China. During this period, the medias reporting in China was the key to keep an informed public that would respect good decisions to protect public health through appropriate measures (Ratzan, 2003). At the same time outside of China, the international press "fulminates with the day-to-day increases of disease and the threat to the Southeast 1
2 Asian economy due to fear of exposure" (Ratzan, 2003). Many in the international media primarily reported the death toll and emphasized that SARS was spreading so rapidly that China was coming to be identified in the world as a symbol of SARS. The Chinese government was being criticized heavily for its inability to control the crisis. SARS reporting around the world went through two stages: first, fear of exposure in China, and second, an unnecessary focus on SARS in the media (Emanuel, 2003). The watershed of the two stages was the Chinese governments news conference held on April 20, 2003. Medias reporting on a particular big issue usually reflected its host cultural, ideological and political perspectives. Because news is a socially constructed product (Shoemaker & Reese, 1996), culture is a critical factor to shape the process of news production, because culture is the collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another (Hofstede, 2001, p. 9). According to Hofstede (1980), the United States and China are regarded as belonging to different cultural categories. China and the United States view the world from opposing eastern and western perspectives, and through differently constructed social institutions. For China, keeping harmony has been engrained in Chinese culture for more than 2,000 years. Chinese people believe in maintaining a harmonious relationship with nature (Neuliep, 2003). However, conflict is frequent in Western Cultures including the United States. People in the United States believe that nature is something to be controlled, domesticated, and subjugated (Neuliep, 2003). Keeping harmony has the trend of collectivism while conflict easily leads to individualism. According to Kim, Triandis, Kagitcibasi, Choi, and Yoon (1994), and Mei-Ching N.G. (2002), liberalism in the West is regarded as the basis of individualism while collectivism is built on Confucianism. The
3 concept of harmony is one of important part of Confucianism, which is sustained by social hierarchy and authority. Chinese culture affects the Chinese understanding of the role of the media. American culture impacts the way American's understand the functioning of the media. Chinese expect the media to support their government, rather than be a check against its power, as Americans expect the media to be. Scholars understand the relationship between a nations media and its political system as falling into one of three categories: authoritarian, libertarian, and communist (Vivian, 1997). China is regarded as a communist political-media system, and the United States as libertarian. These opposing perspectives, as well as, the cultural differences can influence how media frames the news. To provide evidence on how the media depicted international news, this study analyzed framing in a cross-cultural setting. It focused on finding and comparing how U.S. and Chinese Media portrayed SARS epidemic issues differently because of the impact of culture and ideology. In the process of framing social and political issues, Akhavan-Majid and Ramaprasad (1998) noted the news media can play a powerful role in determining the success or failure of social movements (p. 132). Therefore, the study applied framing analysis to explore the different ways in cross-cultural setting, especially within two big countries (China and the United States) which stand for Eastern and Western civilizations. The impact of globalization will make necessary a greater understanding of the nature and function of individual nation's media organizations. This study lays the ground work for this further understanding. A deeper
4 mutual understanding of the roles of the media in the two countries will lead to greater understanding and cooperation between the respective governments. Four main goals can be accomplished by comparing the two the reporting of the SARS issue in the two countries. First, the research outlines what can be seen as four basic roles or stakeholder positions in their reporting of the individuals involved directly or indirectly with SARS (decision-maker, action-taker, victim, and ordinary people). Second, the tone of the media coverage (negative, neutral, or positive) indicates how the different cultural and ideological elements affect media attitudes. Third, the visual images (covers and/or inside photographs) reflected that the media use's implied expression within different media environments. Fourth, the changes from the time before to the time after an identifiable event in the SARS issue showed that complicated elements influenced the media's reporting. This study used four methods of comparison. First, the research explored how coverage in the Chinese magazines changed during the periods immediately before and after the Chinese government revealed the facts of SARS epidemic in China on April 20, 2003. Second, the research examined how coverage in American magazines changed before and after April 20, 2003. Third, the research compared the difference between Chinese magazines and U.S. magazines on the literal images and the tone of media in the articles. Fourth, the research compared the difference of visual images in covers and inside pictures between Chinese magazines and U.S. magazines. Overall, the coverage in both countries mutually reflected the influence of their respective culture, ideology, political system, and media environment in the framing of
5 the SARS reporting. In the U.S. magazines, the culture of individualism and position of anticommunism within a libertarian media environment framed SARS to criticize the Chinese government and pay more attention to the ordinary people during the crisis. Chinas collectivistic culture and communist ideology under a media controlled by government led to reporting of primarily the positive aspects of the SARS issue in framing of the news.
CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) is the first severe and easily transmissible new disease to emerge in the 21st century. SARS corona virus (SARS-CoV) Virus was first identified in 2003. According to statistics by the World Health Organization (WHO), an epidemic of SARS affected 32 countries and resulted in 8,458 cases and 807 deaths in 2003. International Spread of SARS According to WHO, SARS-CoV is thought to be an animal virus from an as yet unknown animal reservoir that first infected humans in the Guangdong province of southern China in 2002. The earliest cases are now known to have occurred on November 16, 2003, in the Guangdong Province, China (Gao, 2003). SARS was first carried out into the world at large on February 21, 2003, when an infected medical doctor from Guangdong checked into room 911 on the 9th floor of the Metropole Hotel in Hong Kong (West China City Newspaper, April 29, 2003)A feature SARS: breaking chains of transmission from the WHO official Web site described that single hotel floor as the setting for the international spread of SARS. The reason for the spreading remained mysterious. At least 14 guests and visitors carried the virus with them to the hospital systems of Toronto, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Singapore. Only two guests from UK that once stayed in the hotel, who were with infected SARS and were later hospitalized in the Philippines, did not spread the virus to the others. 6
7 The information from the WHO indicated that the earliest and most severe outbreaks in Toronto, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Singapore were all caused by visitors to the hotel. At that time, before the first global alert issued by the WHO on March 12, 2003, no one realized that a severe new disease that was capable of rapidly spreading in people had emerged. Responding to the earliest cases, almost all hospital staff in China or Hong Kong failed to protect themselves from infection as they aggressively fought to save lives. As a result, the disease rapidly spread within hospitals first, infecting staff, other patients, and visitors, and then spilled out into the larger community as family members and their close contacts became infected. As the outbreaks grew in size, the number of exported cases rose, with more than 30 countries and areas eventually reporting cases. Following the WHOs global alert, a stronger emergency travel advisory was issued by the WHO on March 15, 2003. Almost all countries experiencing SARS cases took action to prevent any further transmission, and made efforts to keep the number of additional cases very small. Almost all media highlighted the new contagious disease. Taiwan and China experienced an explosion of cases because of the failure of controlling infection in some hospitals. China Explosion of SARS The earliest case of SARS emerged on 16 November, 2002, in a small city in Guangdong Province, but nobody knew it was a new disease (Gao, 2003). When some severe patients were transferred to the large hospital in Guangzhou---the capital of Guangdong Province on 12 January, 2003, the doctors diagnosed it as atypical pneumonia (AP) on 15 January, 2003. Later, more cases of AP appeared in the other cities in Guangdong province, Fushan, Dongguan, Zhongshan, etc, and more than 100
8 cases were examined in Guangzhou city by February 11, 2003. Some medical experts pointed out that the new disease was transmissible and protection was necessary, but their suggestion was not brought to the local governments attention. During this period, no media reported the issue (Du, 2003). The message there is a deadly disease spreading in Guangzhou was spreading though the public by cell phones and persons since by February 8, 2003 (Gao, 2003). According to the statistics of Guangdong Mobile Company, the same message was sent by 40 million on February 8, 2003, 41 million on February 9, 2003 and 45 million on February 10, 2003. Within 20 hours, the rumors chicken flu, anthracnose, cholera emerged on the Internet and spread across the public. Most families in Guangzhou were rushing to purchase herb medicines, vinegar and masks. The society was in panic with rumors. Until February 10, 2003, there was a short report in an official newspaper more people caught flu and pneumonia recently. On February 11, Huang Jionglie, the official Health Department of Guangzhou city, on behalf of the local government promised in public we are able to protect the safety of the people Rumors disappeared gradually. However, the new disease was infecting more and more medical professionals, and patients. A news conference was held by the News Department on April 3rd, saying China is safe for traveling and SARS is under control (Xinhua News, April 4, 2003). A China Central Television (CCTV, the countrys main broadcaster) news program on April 6th ran four minutes of Chinas new prime minister visiting a disease-control center and declaring that China had the epidemic completely under control (Economist, April 26, 2003). Nevertheless, the cover of the April 10, 2004 issue of the Far Eastern Economic
9 Review read, The China Virus, How Beijings Silence Could Kill You Revealing the Public Health Crisis in China. A milestone of the SARS crisis in China was the news conference held on April 20, 2003. The Chinese government fired the incompetent Health minister Zhang Wenkang, declared a war against SARS, and updated reporting cases everyday (Xinhua News, April 21, 2003). Subsequently, SARS reports dominated the issues in Chinese media. The Chinese government declared its last patients free of SARS in late July, marking the end of the campaign to contain a disease that killed 348 people in the country (Yong, 2003). SARS in U.S. The SARS epidemic did not severely spread in the United States and was not on the list of the WHO travel alert. However, the U.S. media headlined SARS reports, and foreign policy expert David J Rothkopf argued that the media failed to put SARS into perspective, which in turn led to distortion and confusion about the virus (Ricchiardi, 2003). He called it an infordemic that made the crisis harder to control, especially as panic and rumors spread via chat room, bulletin boards and e-mail worldwide. There were 65 probable cases in the United States had been reported untill the middle of May, and none of 73 patients contracted SARS in the United States died of the disease (Emanuel, 2003). But the SARS issues made Time, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report devoted covers to the mysterious disease; the New York Time produced a series on its impact, with reporters scouring poverty-stricken Chinese villages in pursuit of details; a special CNN report portrayed SARS as a deadly virus on the loose, the world on alert. Bill Steigerwald, a columnist of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on May 1, 2003, wrote Based on the media attention, youd think SARS had killed 400.000 earthlings by now, not 400. Nobel prize-wining virologist David Baltimore was among those who
10 accused journalists of spreading hysteria, saying AIDS and malaria are far more lethal than SARS (Ricchiardi, 2003). News Values The different coverage of SARS epidemic between China and the United States reflected the different news values of the two countries. The nature of the coverage shows that the media portray an event differently depending on whether the issue is internal (i.e. whether it happens in the medias nation state) or external (it does not happen in the medias nation state) (Liebes, 1992; Cohen et al., 1993; Nossek, 2004). Nossek (2004) noted that the journalists definition of an event as ours or theirs determines whether the event is selected by the journalist and editor as news and how it will be covered (p. 344). Galtung and Ruges (1965) study pointed out that both internal and external constraints shaped the news journalists deliver. The internal and external factors are affected by variations, including culture, ideology, politics, media environment, etc. Regarding foreign news, the cultural element and domestic environment influenced journalists and editors professional work to shape the news (Noseek, 2004). Stevenson and Coles (1984) study found the evidence of cultural filtering in the context of foreign news coverage. A countrys media preferred the coverage of countries sharing a geographical, political or cultural affinity (Rosengren, 1974; Chang and Lee, 1992; Sreberny and Stevenson, 1999; Wu, 2000). Concerning the news in a different culture and media environment, a countrys media may be biased in their reporting. On the other hand, the bias in foreign news coverage produced by broadcasting networks is usually consistent with the foreign policy of the networks government (Paterson, 1999). Westersthl and Johansson (1994) highlight the relationship between news and ideology in news-reporting.
11 The domestic viewpoint of journalists is inseparable from his or her professional norms and considerations. Shoemakers (1991) described that, none of these actors the individual, the routine, the organization, or the social institution can escape that fact that it is tied to and draws its sustenance from the social system (p.75). In order to survive, journalists must be able to adapt their social or government demands and subordinate their professional norms to national interests (Herman and Chomsky, 2002). Herman and Chomsky (2002) claimed that the media are indeed free for those who adopt the principles which the social ends demand (p.304). Framing The differences in coverage of the SARS epidemic between Chinese media and American media indicated that the two countries shaped the news from their own perspectives, understood as framing the news. The framing theory originally understood frames as embodiments of the principles of organizations which govern social events (Goffman, 1974). This definition implies that framing influences all forms of human ideology. Frames were more specifically described later as a psychological device that offers a perspective and manipulates salience in order to influence subsequent judgment (Kahneman & Tnersky, 1982). A decision maker will select the option with the highest subjective utility, whether or not that provides the highest objective gain (Kahneman & Tnersky, 1982). The application of framing theory to news gathering and production is particularly salient (Tuchman, 1978). Tankard (2001) stated, A frame is a central organizing idea for news content that supplies a context and suggests what the issue is through the use of selection, emphasis, exclusion, and elaboration(p.98). Framing is selecting certain aspects of a perceived reality and making them more salient in a communicated message (Entman, 1993).
12 For journalists framing news, Entman (1993) noted, "Journalists may follow the rules for objective reporting and yet convey a dominant framing of the news that prevents most audience members from making a balanced assessment of a situation (p.56). Gamson and Modigliani (1989) pointed out that media discourse is part of the process by which individuals construct meaning, and public opinion is part of the process by which journalists develop and crystallize meaning in public discourse (p.13). Essentially, the definition of framing in the news was as Entman (1993) wrote: Frames define problemsdetermine what a causal agent is doing with what costs and benefits, usually measured in terms of common cultural values; diagnose causesidentify the forces creating the problem; make moral judgmentsevaluate causal agents and their effects; and suggest remediesoffer and justify treatments for the problems and predict their likely effects. (p.52) How frames are formed becomes of critical importance. As Entman (1993) noted, common cultural values influenced frames. Geert Hofstede (2001) treated culture as the collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another (p.9). The enculturation by these societal institutions includes those by families, schools, clubs, places of worship and social organization, among others. The ideology influenced societal institutions. Hall (1986) defined ideology as the mental frameworksthe languages, the concepts, categories, imagery of thought, and the system of representationwhich different classes and social groups deploy in order to make sense of, define, figure out, and render intelligible the way society works (p. 29). Therefore, cultural and ideological elements played an important role when framing is used. Edelman (1993) pointed out that the choice of frames often is driven by ideology and prejudice (p.232). Framing in the news frequently reinforces stereotypes.
13 Norris (1995) said: News frames bundle key concepts, stock phrases, and stereotyped images to reinforce certain common ways of interpreting developments. The essence of framing is the choice to prioritize some facts, events or developments over others, thereby promoting a particular interpretation. New developments are understood within regular patterns. Frames represent stereotypes, which slot particular events into broader interpretive categories that may or may not be appropriate. (p.358) Therefore, international news reporting might drive away from objectivity, depending on their political ideology and national interests, as Shoemaker and Reese (1996) stated, News is socially created product, not a reflection of an objective reality (p.21). Visual Framing The photos in news reports are an important framing process. Messaris and Abraham (2001) stated that visual framing may covey meanings that would be more controversial or might meet with greater audience resistance if they were conveyed through words (p. 215). The central feature of visual images is that they build the analogical system of communication, which is different from explicit words (Messaris & Abraham, 2001). Mandell and Show (1973) found in their study that the camera angle from which that person was photographed influenced significantly how the viewers evaluated the power of a person mentioned in news item. Therefore, even if there is a fake news, most viewers would not be aware of the use of camera angle in the fake news. Why do people more believe the photos than words? The philosopher C.S. Peirce (1991) used the term indexicality to distinguished photographs from other types of images. Because he thought photographs were direct pointers, not constructed representations of reality. For viewers, the photographs
14 implicate a guarantee close to truth. In the framing process, photographs could reinforce stereotypical ideas without being questioned by viewers. Woollacott (1982) explained that film and photographyoperate upon us in a manner which suppresses and conceals their ideological function because they appear to record than transform or signify (p. 99). In framing the international news, media may use more visual images that implicate their actual intention, not to state explicitly in order to avoid complicated risky cultural conflicts (Burgoon, Buller, & Woodall, 1996). However, this ambiguity was not easily realized by viewers who may unconsciously take stereotypical and prejudicial views for granted (Messaris & Abraham, 2001). Framing International News and China Frame People reporting international news may stereotype the news according to their national interest and cultural limitations, especially framing a country which has a different political ideology and social system. Entman (1991) provided evidence in his study Framing U.S. coverage of international news: contrasts in narratives of the KAL and Iran Air incidents. He compared the U.S. media coverage of the Korean Air Lines incident in which a passenger plane that was shot down by a Soviet fighter plane in 1983 and the Iran Air incident in which an Iranian plane was shot down by a U.S. Navy ship in 1988. The study found that in covering the downing of the Korean passenger plane by the Soviets, the frame focused on the moral bankruptcy and guilt of a communist nation, KAL news frequently attributed the act not simply to a Soviet pilot or Soviet military but to the immoral Soviet Union or government as a whole on enemies(p. 20); while in the case of the downing of the Iranian plane by the United States, the frame avoided guilty and emphasized the complicated problems of military technology, generalization about the United States was essentially absent from coverage of the action against the
15 Iran Air jet (p.20). Therefore, Entman pointed out that the nature of two political systems reinforced the difference of framing news reports. During the last half century, the Peoples Republic of China has always been a major focus of U.S. foreign policy, and Chinas frame in U.S. media has reflected the dominant ideology capitalism and anticommunism ( Akhavan-Majid & Ramaprasad, 1998). Kobland, Du and Kwan (1992) claimed that anticommunism has been the predominant frame in coverage of China. The coverage of communists states has almost entirely focused on the problems and the failures of Marxist governments (p.66). China usually has been described as deceitfulness of communists in U.S. media for long time (p. 64). A study by Wu (2002) comparing the Chinese newspapers and U.S. newspapers coverage of the China US spy plane standoff incident found that both sides deliberately ignored or withheld some unfavorable evidences, and in so doing change the natural time order of some key elements during their news coverage (p.1). Because of their own national interest, both U.S. newspapers and Chinese papers portrayed themselves as morally superior, the other as awrongdoer. News frame might make harder for people to be close to the truth. Nevertheless, Entman (1993) stated that a frame defines problems, diagnoses causes and offers remedies. Norris (1995) extended this conceptualization by defining a news frame as an interpretive structure that sets particular events with in a broader context (p.358). From this perspective, frames help people to better understand their environment truth. Another study by Akhavan-Majid and Ramaprasad (1998), which examined framing in the U.S. and Chinese press coverage of the Fourth United Nations Conference
16 on Women and Non-Governmental Organizations Forum in Beijing in 1995, again showed that the U.S. media still focused on an extended criticism of China as a communist nation in covering the conference. Meanwhile, the conference itself, including its goals of the global feminist movement and their critical fields of concern, had been deemphasized by the U.S. press instead of building American value--antifeminism. On the contrary, a strong focus on the critical issues of concern to the global feminist movement has been reflected in Chinese coverage. At the same time, the Chinese press emphasized the praise for China as a conference host who had made extensive preparations, and made efforts against western criticism. The different frame of coverage of the same issue in the two nations indicated the gap between ideology and values, in other words, it is a fight between communism and anti-communism. Kobland et al. (1992) found in his study on the coverage of student demonstrations in South Korea in 1980 and in China in 1989 that the two clear similar issues (students demonstrations requiring governments against corruption and asking for democracy had been repressed by militaries), had sharp contrasts in framing of the two incidents in U.S. media. The study indicated that The New York Times depicted the Korean government actions as a reasonable reaction to the threat of demonstrators rebellious insurrection; while portraying Chinese government as cruelly repressive, The New York Times emphasized the legitimacy of the demonstrators goals and the efficacy of their means (P.72). Even when reporting on the same issuefor instance, Tiananmen Square pre-democracy movement, Western countries may build different frames based on their national interests. Lee and Yan (1995) found in their study of comparing U.S. and
17 Japanese coverage of a Chinese student movement that under the influence of anticommunism ideology, viewing China as an ideological adversary, U.S. media sympathized with students, emphasizing the students ideological aspiration and the cruelty of government; Japan more concerning the economic relationship with China, its media stood at a mutual manner to this incident. National interests directly influenced the medias standpoints. But the dominant ideology anticommunism frame-in the United States would change with the international relationship and domestic political interest. Chang (1998) found that The New York Times decreased dramatically using Red China which implicated ideological adversary manners instead of using Peoples Republic of China when President Nixon announced that he would visit China in 1971. A study by M. Wang (1991) illustrated that The New York Times described China as a good socialist country that was vested with cultural heritage and historical sites (p. 61) during Nixons trip to China 1971, on the other hand, in reporting the Tiananmen Square incident, the anticommunism ideological frame returned to The New York Times emphasizing the confrontation between pro-democratic, pro-change college students and the corrupt, incompetent and unyielding communist regime (p. 59). Previous studies of media coverage of international news or China frames directly reinforce the influence of different dominant ideologies. However, the relationship of China and the United States has been more complicated on the historical perspective, which combined with the vicissitudes of the nations development and cultural diversity. Cultural Conflicts John King Fairbank (1983), director of the East Asian institute of Harvard University, the most famous scholar on China issues, stated in his book The United States and China that the relationship between the two countries would continue to face the
18 changeable cultural conflicts and compromise with common interests. He expected the two great nations to coexist concordantly, although there were discrepant value standards: U.S. emphasized the human rights, China emphasized the self-sacrifice; U.S. criticized power politics, China criticized individualism. However, the cultural conflicts impacting the ideologies of a society have been reflected on the coverage of news by the stereotyping frames. Huntington (1996) stated in his book the clash of civilizations and the remaking of world order that cultural commonalities and differences shape the interests, antagonisms, and associations of states (p.9). Hofstede (2001) described the dimensions of culture in 5 aspects, and individualism versus collectivism was one of them. He pointed out that: Individualism stands for a society in which the ties between individuals are loose: Every one is expected to look after him/herself and her/his immediate family only. Collectivism stands for a society in which people from birth onwards are integrated into strong, cohesive in-groups, which throughout peoples life time continue to protect them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty. (p.225) Each culture may include individualism and collectivism but usually scholars regarded individualism as the trait of western culture and collectivism as an Eastern one. Mei-Ching NG (2002) thought individualism in U.S. culture trained people in society to be independent, self-oriented, and assertive. Collectivism is an important part of the Confucian philosophy in China which emphasizes harmony and order, and which shapes people to be obedient and accepting of authority. According to Wright and Twitchett (1962), Mei-Ching NG (2002), Confucians insist that society should promote stability and harmoniousness through hierarchy. In order to sustain harmony, individual interests are subordinate to collective interests. This understanding of harmony expressed in social structure through order and political power, and beyond public rights is a typical
19 feature of this tradition. Government leadership is highly valued in collectivistic society. The difference between individualism and collectivism is reflected in the media and leads to very differing views of the same image. The Western vision on its own culture, is connected positively with personal achievement and freedom, especially in the United States (Gudykunst, Matsumoto, 1996). According to Hofestede (2001) and Beteille (1977), stronger individualism has led to greater market capitalism, and political democracy. Hofestede (2001) agrees that most Americans regarded individualism as the root of a powerful country. But Hofestede (2001) noted that the term collectivism in the United States sometimes was narrowed to be communism. An anticommunist position is a dominant narrative in the U.S. media, as Kobland, Du, Kwan (1992), Akhavan-Majid, and Ramaprasad (1998) noted that the news coverage of Communist states completely emphasize the governments mistakes and failures. The Eastern view on individualism is not good. The late Chairman Mao Zedong of China thought individualism was an evil source of selfishness and people should not put their personal interests above group benefits (Hofestede, 2001). Chinese culture prefers human harmony to an aggressive personality, and Confucian ethic emphasizes not only personal discipline and cultivation but also cooperation and collective strength (Mei-Ching NG, 2002, p.38). Confucianism influenced Chinese political ideology as a farther-son relationship, with the father in an absolutely dominant position. Chinese leaders see their role has one of having to look after the public, like a father would a child.
20 Media Theory and Environment Libertarianism and Watchdog in U.S. Hofstede (2001) cited the French social historian Emmanuel Todds opinion the real reason a country adopted a particular way of government was because it fit the way of thinking of the people, based upon the family structure in which they or their ancestors grew up (p.246). In other words, ideology and culture influence what types of government will occur in a specific society, and in turn, whatever the political system is influences the media environment. Individualism leads to a government with market economy and libertarianism, while collectivism trends more toward a government with social economy and Communism. Vivian (1997) defined libertarianism as a political system with the premise that individuals, if free to do so, can come to know truth and communism as a political system that says the state should promote the evolution toward social perfection (p.439). Altschulls (1995) defined U.S. media into a market theme, In the market image, the press is seen as operating outside the control of government, as a watchdog or even as a kind of adversary of the government. In the communitarian image, the press is the creature of the government (or the party) endorsing its actions and seeking to persuade its readers and viewers to the same kind of endorsement (p. 426). According to Vivian (1997), there is a tradition of freedom of expression in the United States because of media independence, but on the other hand, the conflict between pursuing profits in the marketplace through sensationalized news coverage and taking social responsibility exists in U.S. media environment. Therefore, the price for free speech and economic benefits may have been paid for by American journalism in exaggerating facts and sensationalized news. In the process of framing a particular issue, portraying out
21 breaking news by exaggerating of facts or emphasizing dangers or horrors becomes an American style of blood and numbers journalism. Communism and Partys Throat is Changing in China Vivian (1997) pointed out that the Communist media, unified with the government, provides news in support of the governments ideological goals. The Chinese media was regarded as the throat of communist party. The late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping stated in 1992, while economic development is the central task of government, stability is essential to economic development (Hsu, 1995, p.946). Ogden (1995) noted that, too much questioning of the government could lead to instability, which could result in a major disruption of economic development (p.154). However, Chinese media are more complicated than the definition communism. Because of speeding up its commercialized development after China entered the WTO (World Trade Organization) in 2001, a series of new phenomena emerged in Chinese media. The openness to the world is a first significant improvement. More than 30 external TV stations were located in China by 2003, including Viacoms MTV (Jiang & Hu 2004). Wenxin News Corporation in Shanghai built a cooperative relationship with CNBC on April 10, 2003, airing two programs reporting financial news everyday through the CNBC network (Wang, 2004). This is the first time that Chinese media set up a strategic alliance with western mainstream media. Reporting on the Iraq war, Chinese media for the first time used information directly from Reuters News Agency and Associated Press, airing live reports to audience (Jiang& Hu, 2004). The medias supervising function has been strengthened in the society. The reporting on the death of Sun Zhigang exposed the weakness of the 21-year-old law
22 relating to homeless persons and beggars (Wang, 2004). Fifty-six days after the first media reports, the State Council banned the law and declared a new one. The numbers of Party newspapers and magazines are decreasing. In the three month period from August to November 2003, 677 party newspapers and magazines closed down (Wang, 2004). Li Liangrong, a professor in Fudan University, proposed the circle theory to explain Partys Throat in current Chinese Media (Hu, 2004). He claimed that the traditional partys throat is a big circle, which means that all media are the partys throats; the middle circle refers that the news media are partys throat; the small circle means that only partys newspapers and magazines are partys throats (Hu, 2004, p. 4). After 25 years of development, the Chinese media is improving during the process of shrinking the big circles to a small one. New media have developed rapidly. Near 300 million cell-phone users and 68 million Internet consumers support the Fifth Medium (comparing new media to traditional medianewspaper, radio, television, and magazines) in China (Economy Observers, Noverber 8, 2003). Before the SARS issue broken as a large news story, Jiang Yongyan, a retired Chinese doctor, posted a message to the Internet giving the issue its first foreign media exposure to SARS crisis in China when the publics were very unsatisfied to limited information through formal channels (Newsweekly, August 12, 2003). Jing Yongyan's actions demonstrate that the fifth medium is challenging the traditional media. Nevertheless, the conflict between a market economy and political reform in China has narrowed press freedom. Although the diversity of media content was encouraged, the media are still afraid to cross the political realm (He & Chen, 1998). The press can
23 criticize policies and official wrongdoing, but not the political system. Press freedom still is limited outside of sensitive political issues. The controversy of the media environment in China complicates the news framing process. The openness of the economic market in China required more press freedom; on the other hand, the relative lagging political reform did not provide enough free space for the media, especially on political issues. When reporting on some sensitive topics which may criticize governments or the communist party, Chinese media had been involved in a dilemmato meet the demands of the public for truth, or to ignore the negative criticism from the public on government and communist party for fake peace. Under such circumstances, news framing in China sometimes becomes an acrobat walking on a wire rope by struggling for the balance. The early silence on SARS reporting in Chinese media in the spring of 2003 exposed the traditional way of hiding negative news that criticized the government, but the later transparent reporting of SARS revealed the potential for press freedom in the future. Research Questions and Hypotheses For the purpose of this study, a content analysis was adopted to examine the coverage of SARS epidemic issue in six magazines, the most prestigious news magazines in U.S. and China, respectively. The study analyzes news stories in Chinese and U.S. magazines, comparing stories before and after the Chinese official disclosure of SARS Epidemic on April 20, 2003. The research questions are: RQ 1: Are there significant changes in the three Chinese magazines issue frames before and after April 20, 2003? RQ 2: Are there significant changes in the three American magazines issue frames before and after April 20, 2003?
24 RQ 3: Are there significant changes in the three Chinese magazines tone of media before and after April 20, 2003? RQ 4: Are there significant changes in the three American magazines tone of media before and after April 20, 2003? After the SARS epidemic, media in the United States and in China looked introspectively at the effects of their reporting, but few comparisons of the two different systems were made. In order to display a relatively full range of issue reporting, the focus of this research is on comparing the attitude of images and words on magazine covers and stories. The specific hypotheses raised are: H1: In SARS reporting, Chinese magazines will pay more attention to the doctors, nurses and government officials efforts in controlling the epidemic than American magazines. H2: American magazines will focus more on SARS impact on ordinary people. H3: Chinese magazines will display more positive aspects in their reporting on SARS H4: American magazines will display the more negative aspects. H5: American magazines will focus more on the lethality of SARS than Chinese magazines. H6: Chinese magazines will focus more on the efforts against the disease than American magazines.
CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY The Sample The research method used is content analysis, the systematic study of media messages. A content analysis of the different images on magazines covers, pictures and reports should reveal different attitudes in SARS reporting. News magazines have covers with pictures and in-depth reports, reporting on issues visually and literally. The aim of the research is to compare the SARS reporting in the two countries magazines with an analysis of the magazine covers and their in depth reporting visuals along with the stories, not necessarily present in newspaper coverage. Three main weekly magazines from each country (China and the United States) were selected within a specific time period--from February 1, 2003 to July 31, 2003. The images on the covers, as well as pictures and reports in the magazines, were collected and divided into groups for different types of analysis. A sample of magazines was selected from the main weekly news magazines in China and the United States. The Chinese magazines selected for study were Outlook Weekly, Sanlian Life Weekly, and News weekly; The U.S. magazines examined were Time, U.S. News & World Report, and Newsweek. Because these magazines are the main news magazines in the two countries, representing mainstream society, they demonstrate the representative features of news trends in their own society. Sanlian Life Week and Newsweekly are electronic editions because of lack of print editions. There may be some slight differences between electronic editions and print editions. 25
26 Sanlian Life Weekly is considered one of most popular weekly news magazines as Time in China (Chinese Fortune, 12 February, 2004). Its mission statement is to serve as an honest recorder of the process of reform time and to accurately reflect new life, new opinions, and the new trends of Chinese society (Chinese Fortune, 12 February, 2004). Outlook Weekly is sponsored by Xinhua agency, the largest news agency in China. It is an authority on hot topics, social focuses and problems in mainstream society. It reports on international and domestic events, and issues directly concerning people's lives, as well as explaining government policies (www. hexun.com ). Based on Zhongxin News Agency, one of two official news agencies (the other is Xinhua News Agency) in China, Newsweekly covers diverse economic, political, social news with its purpose to influence the most influential people ( www.cinanewsweek.com.cn ). According to the information resource center of the United States Consulate in China ( www.usembassy-china.org ), Time, U.S. News & World Report, and News Week are three of the top news magazines in the United States. Time is a well-known and widely-read U.S. news magazine. Time provides similar U.S. and global news coverage to Newsweek. The U.S. News & World Report emphasizes general business news and events having a strong effect on business interests Time Span The chosen time period to analyze these magazines coverage was from February 1, 2003 to July 31, 2003. It was in February that the first report appeared among the six magazines about a strange disease causing panic in Guangdong province, reported by Newsweekly of China. The Chinese government first made SARS reporting transparent
27 on April 20, 2003, and the WHO declared China safe for travelers on June 24, 2003. Most reporting on SARS was concentrated during these six months. The time frame for research was from the first reporting on what would become known as SARS, until reporting slowed to almost nothing. Choosing February 1, 2003 as beginning and July 31, 2003 as ending allows a comparison of the different attitudes in SARS reporting between the United States and China, before transparency and after the WHO declaration. However, most reporting was concentrated near the end of April and early May. Therefore, on the time period of the issue, a relative full-range analysis of SARS reporting can be made. In fact, the first report in Chinese magazines was on February 17, 2003, in Newsweekly with a cover story titled Strange disease causes panic in Guangdong province, and the last report within selected period was in the July 14, 2003 issue of Sanlian Life Week. The first reports in U.S. magazines did not appear until April 7, 2003 in Time, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report, and the last report within the selected time period was May 19, 2003 in Time Magazine with only some numbers reporting about SARS, Newsweek with a readers letter, and the last report in U.S. News & World report was June 30, 2003 with critical article on Chinese government. Only 2 articles in American magazines after May 19, 2003, contrasting, and the number of articles from May 19, 2003 to end of July, 2003 in Chinese Magazines was 81, 48.5 percent of the total SARS news stories in the three Chinese magazines within the research period. Unit of Analysis The objects of research are the covers, pictures and stories on SARS in these magazines from February 1, 2003 to July 31, 2003. All the reports and pictures regarding
28 the SARS issue, including news, editorials, features, photos, graphs and public opinion polls, were selected and coded. The procedure yielded a total of 14 covers, 112 inside pictures, and 167 stories from the Chinese sample and 3 covers, 59 inside pictures, and 31 stories from the U.S. sample. A total of 17 covers, 171 pictures, and 198 stories were analyzed for the study. Coding Guide Images People are usually a focus of a news report, especially in the public health crisis. People in particular social roles may have different reactions to the crisis. Reporting on what kind of people reflects the medias visual perspective. In order to study how the media frame SARS issue, people in the news reports are considered as the images of the reports. The object of the study is the images on those magazines covers, pictures, and stories. In a crisis, the government usually plays a key role as decision maker in crisis management (National Research Council, 1999). Wang (2003) stated the people in SARS crisis play different roles to react to the crisis, among them, medical professionals took actual actions to save lives. Based on their social roles in the SARS crisis, the images on covers, pictures and reports were divided into four categories for consideration: decision-makers (including government leaders, WHO officials); action-takers (doctors and nurses, researchers, other workers); victims (patients, suspicious patients and people under quarantine); ordinary people. Visual Images The visual images on covers and inside pictures were also coded for whether the people in the photos wore masks or not because the masks in photos usually are perceived as symbolizing a health crisis. The images of people wearing masks in caused
29 magazine readers to feel the severity of the crisis. The people in the photos were categorized as adults or children because there different images would bring about a different level of attention and of emotion. In the crisis, people may pay more attention to the weaker group of people, like children and feel more sympathy toward them. Photographs of the virus and the disease in photos were also coded because those photos may make people feel more nervous about the disease. Degree of Importance The evaluation measurement is set up in two aspects. First, the degree of importance: the number of reports about different images reflects whether the media paid attention to this kind of an image or not, and the degree of the importance. How many different images, according to the above four categories, on covers, pictures, and stories were counted respectively. Trend of Evaluation Second, the trend of evaluation: the tone of the media toward kinds of images can be divided into three types (negative, neutral and positive) which reflect the medias position. The key words on covers and in stories, especially in titles, were considered: negative expressions cover-up truth, incompetence, invalidity, failure to control, cheat, scared, unnecessary focus, fear of exposure, crisis, under stress, panic ; neutral expressions emphasis, inspection, direction, test, reflect, experiment, detect ; positive expressions work hard, in control, make efforts, responsible, sacrifice for work, brave, fearless, wise decision, praise.
30 Intercoder Reliability In order to make the research reliable, inter-coder reliability was tested. According to Wimmer and Dominick (2003), the formula was adopted to determine the reliability of nominal data in terms of percentage of agreement: Reliability = 2M/ N1+ N2 M refers to the number of coding decisions on which two coders agree. N1 is the total number of coding decisions by the first coder, and N2 is the total number of coding decisions by the second coder.
CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS This Study used framing theory to look at the differences in Chinese magazines and U.S. magazines on reporting the SARS epidemic. Content analysis was performed to test the differences in visual images in covers and pictures, the images in stories and attributes in these magazines articles on the crisis. The findings of the research supported the hypothesized effects of culture and ideology on news reporting. The images in the two countries on SARS reporting display significant differences in quantitative importance and qualitative analysis, which frame the news based on different cultures, ideologies, political social systems and media environment. An inter-coder reliability test was performed on a sample of 47 percent of covers (8 out of 17 covers), 20 percent of inside pictures (35 out of 172 pictures), and 20 percent of stories (39 out of 195 stories). Inter-coder reliability reached 90%. However, the coders could not understand Chinese in Chinese magazines. The author helped with translations. Each research question and hypothesis was tested and conclusions were made based on the four types of magazines: covers, pictures and articles appearing in Chinese magazines before April 20, 2003, covers, pictures and articles appearing in Chinese magazines after April 20, 2003, pictures and articles appearing in U.S. magazines before April 20, 2003, and pictures and articles appearing in U.S. magazines after April 20, 2003. 31
32 RQ 1: Are there significant changes in the three Chinese magazines issue frames before and after April 20, 2003? The first research question sought to determine whether there were any changes in the numbers of articles and the contents of the Chinese magazines on SARS issue before and after the Chinese government hold the news conference on April 20, 2003 which revealed that facts were being hidden. The amount of news coverage in Chinese magazines after April 20, 2003 was nine times greater than the amount of news coverage before the news conference (Table 4-1, 2(2) =20.65, p< .01). Table 4-1. The articles in Chinese magazines before and after April 20, 2003 news conference Magazines Before After Total Outlook Weekly Count % of total articles 2 2% 90 98% 92 100% Sanlian Life Weekly Count % of total articles 1 5% 18 95% 19 100% News Weekly Count % of total articles 13 23% 43 77% 56 100% Total Count % of total articles 16 10% 151 90% 167 100% 2(2) = 20.65, p < .01 Before April 20, 2003 when the Chinese government declared to open the truth to the public and the world, only 16 out of 167 (10%) articles dealt with SARS epidemic in the three Chinese magazines. On the contrary, 151 out of 167 (90%) articles appearing after April 20, 2003 focused on the SARS epidemic. After the first report in the three magazines appeared in February 2003 with a cover under the title Weird disease made Guangdong panic in the Newsweekly magazine, the unknown disease had already drawn the publics attention. However, the images portrayed in the limited 16 articles of three
33 magazines before April 20, 2003 was dominated by 11 out of 16 (69%) articles focused on government officials, WHO officials (Table 4-2, 2(3)=14.35, p<.01). Table 4-2. The images in the articles of Chinese magazines before and after April 20, 2003 news conference Images Before After Total Decisionmaker Count % of total articles 11 69% 36 24% 47 28% Actiontaker Count % of total articles 2 12% 51 34% 53 32% Victims Count % of total articles 0 0% 8 6% 8 5% Ordinary People Count % of total articles 3 19% 54 36% 57 35% Total Count % of total articles 16 100% 151 100% 167 100% 2(3) = 14.35, p < .01 The image of decision-makers dominated the Chinese media in the SARS reports before April 20, 2003. After April 20, 2003, the Chinese medias focus shifted to medical professionals and ordinary people, the articles on SARS focused on decision-makers in the three magazines decreased to 36 (24%) of 151 reports in this period (from April 20 to July 31, 2003). The action-takers, including researchers and medical professionals, were the focus only in 2 articles, which were 12.5% of 151 articles before April 20, 2003; but this figure increased to 34% of articles after April 20, 2003. No articles in the magazines focused on victims before April 20, 2003, but the image of victims increased to 5.3% after April 20, 2003. The proportion of ordinary people was 18.7% of 16 articles before April 20, 2003, almost doubled to 36% of articles after April 20, 2003.
34 Table 4-3. The covers of Chinese magazines before and after April 20, 2003 news conference Magazines Before After Total Outlook Weekly Count % of total covers 0 0% 5 100% 5 100% Sanlian Life Weekly Count % of total covers 0 0% 4 100% 4 100% News Weekly Count % of total covers 1 20% 4 80% 5 100% Total Count % of total covers 1 14% 13 86% 14 100% 2(2) = 1.94, p > .05 As the Table 4-3 ( 2(2)=1.94, p>0.5) indicates there was only one cover page about the SARS issue appearing in one Chinese magazine (News Weekly), and no covers in the two magazines ( Sanlian Life Weekly and Outlook Weekly) before April 20, 2003 After April 20, 2003, the three Chinese magazines had 13 covers to feature the SARS topic. Table 4-4. The inside photos of Chinese magazines before and after April 20, 2003 news conference Magazines Before After Total Outlook Weekly Count % of total photos 0 0% 29 80% 29 100% Sanlian Life Weekly Count % of total photos 1 9% 10 91% 11 100% News Weekly Count % of total photos 0 0% 82 100% 82 100% Total Count % of total photos 1 1% 111 99% 112 100% 2(2) = 10.17, p < .01 As Table 4-4 ( 2(2)=10.17, p< .01) shows, only one photo about SARS issue was shown in Sanlian Life Weekly before April 20, 2003, but a total of 111 inside photos were included in three Chinese magazines, which was 99% the of total inside photos. Above all, there were two significant differences in the Chinese magazines before April 20, 2003 and after April 20, 2003 when the Chinese government exposed the truth about SARS in China.
35 First, during the early (between February 1 and April 20, 2003), Chinese magazines were almost silent about SARS issue. In the later period (between April 20 and July 31, 2003), Chinese media were filled with SARS coverage. The reports of SARS were very limited within the three months (between February 1 and April 20, 2003), and the number of related reports were only 16 which were 10% of all articles in Chinese magazines. Only one cover (14% of total covers) and one inside photo (1% of total inside photos) displayed the SARS issue in the three Chinese magazines. On the contrary, 90% of articles covering SARS appeared in the later sample time, 84% covers (13 out of 14), 99% inside photos (111 out of 112) were shown in the three Chinese magazines. Second, the focus of the Chinese media switched from government to common people. The four images in the study in the articles of three Chinese magazines had changed significantly before and after April 20, 2003. The image of decision-makers (Government officials, WHO official) changed from the dominant subject (69% of reports) to a less important place (24% of reports). The image of action-takers increased from 12.5% to 34% of reports, the image of victims increased from 0% to 5.3%, and the image of ordinary people increased from 18.7% to 36% of articles after April 20, 2003. RQ 2: Are there significant changes in the three American magazines issue frames before and after April 20, 2003? The second research question sought to discover whether there were any changes in the numbers of articles and the contents of the U.S. magazines on the SARS issue before and after the Chinese government held the news conference on April 20, 2003, which revealed that the facts had been hidden.
36 The numbers of articles of SARS coverage in U.S. magazines were 7 (23% of total articles) before April 20, 2003 (Table 4-5). Table 4-5. The articles in the U.S. magazines before and after April 20, 2003 news conference Magazines Before After Total Time Count % of total articles 3 27% 8 73% 11 100% U.S. News & World Report Count % of total articles 2 20% 8 80% 10 100% Newsweek Count % of total articles 2 20% 8 80% 10 100% Total Count % of total articles 7 23% 24 77% 31 100% 2(2) =.21, p > .05 But all the three American magazines published the first report about SARS epidemic on April 7, 2003, only two weeks before April 20, 2003. Therefore, if 7 articles within two weeks are compared to the 24 articles within the later period of three months, the numbers increase was reasonable with the preceding period. The same situation existed in the covers and inside photos. Before April 20, 2003, no covers applied in any the three American magazines. However, after April 20, 2003, the three American magazines used almost same kind of close-up photo---a person with mask as their covers on the same day, May 5, 2003. There were 8 (14% of total) inside photos in the three magazines before April 20, 2003, and 51(86% of total) inside photos after April 20, 2003 (Table 4-6). Table 4-6. The inside photos in the U.S. magazines before and after April 20, 2003 news conference Magazines Before After Total Time Count % of total photos 3 16% 16 84% 19 100% U.S. News & World Report Count % of total photos 2 11% 16 89% 18 100% Newsweek Count % of total photos 3 14% 19 86% 22 100%
37 Table 4-6 Continued Magazines Before After Total Total Count % of total photos 8 14% 51 86% 59 100% 2(2) =.17, p > .05 Table 4-7 indicates that the images in the U.S. magazines have changed slightly before April 20, 2003 and after that date. The image of decision-makers increased slightly from 14% to 21%. The image of action-takers also increased slightly, from 14% to 17%. The image of Victims increased from 0% to 21%, which was the most significant change in U.S. magazines. The stories about ordinary people decreased from 71% to 50%, which was the consistent role portrayed in U.S. coverage of SARS. Table 4-7. The images in the articles of the U.S. magazines before and after April 20, 2003 news conference Images Before After Total Decisionmaker Count % of total articles 1 14% 5 21% 6 19% Actiontaker Count % of total articles 1 14% 4 17% 5 16% Victims Count % of total articles 0 0% 5 21% 5 16% Ordinary People Count % of total articles 5 71% 12 50% 17 55% Total Count % of total articles 7 100% 24 100% 31 100% 2(3) = 2.11, p > .05 Above all, the numbers of articles, covers, and inside photos in the American magazines changed on before and after April 20, 2003, but not significantly. The focus of U.S. media changed slightly, but the media still focused on ordinary people, and increased reports on victims. RQ 3: Are there significant changes in the tone of three Chinese magazines before and after April 20, 2003?
38 This research question sought to discover any changes in the Chinese medias attitudes before and after April 20, 2003, when Chinese government changed its attitude about releasing the information on SARS to the public. Table 4-8 showed that there were three significant changes in the Chinese magazines tone before and after April 20, 2003. Table 4-8. The tone of media in the articles of Chinese magazines before and after April20, 2003 news conference Attitude Before After Total Negative Count % of total articles 1 6% 39 26% 40 24% Neutral Count % of total articles 5 31% 82 54% 87 52% Positive Count % of total articles 10 63% 30 20% 40 24% Total Count % of total articles 16 100% 151 100% 167 100% 2(2) =14.77, p < .01 First, the negative tone of the media increased significantly, from 6% to 26%. Only one negative report about SARS issue appeared in News Weekly, which said BBC and WHO implied that some countries overreacted to the disease. But after April 20, 2003, 39 articles in the three Chinese magazines took a negative perspective criticizing the government or social system, health system, and even the Chinese media themselves. The example of such coverage included in some articles stating that the old administrative system exposed its weakness and bureaucrats inefficiency (News Weekly, April 28, 2003), SARS issue exposed the disadvantages of our political system (Sanlian Life Weekly, May 5, 2003), no transparent information channelfake statistics of disease (Outlook Weekly, April 28, 2003).
39 Second, the neutral reports increased from 31% to 54%. Only 5 articles in the three Chinese magazines held a neutral attitude on the SARS issue before April 20, 2003, and 86 articles had a neutral tone of media after April 20, 2003. Third, the percentage of positive reports decreased sharply from 63% down to 20%. The 10 articles (63% of 16 articles) in Chinese magazines before April 20, 2003, praised the governments efforts to control the disease, or informed the public it was safe for them, not easily to infect the disease, such as the situation in Guangdong is getting much better (News weekly, April 7, 2003), Chinese government won the reputation in the world for their efficient efforts to control the disease (News weekly, April 14, 2003). After April 20, 2003, the positive articles deceased to 20%, only 30 articles which mainly praised the efforts and achievements of the medical professionals who saving peoples lives. RQ 4: Are there significant changes in the three American magazines tone of media before and after April 20, 2003? This research question planned to discover whether there were significant changes in the three American magazines tone before and after April 20, 2003. Table 4-9 indicated there were two changes in the American magazines tone of media, but one was significant while the other was not. Table 4-9. The tone of media in the articles of the U.S. magazines before and after April20, 2003 news conference Attitude Before After Total Negative Count % of total articles 1 14% 9 37% 10 32% Neutral Count % of total articles 6 86% 15 63% 21 68% Positive Count % of total articles 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
40 Table 4.9 Continued Attitude Before After Total Total Count % of total articles 7 100% 24 100% 31 100% 2(1) =1.34, p > .05 First, the negative tone of media increased from 14% to 37.5% after April 20, 2003. There was one article in Time magazine criticizing the Chinese government handling the SARS issue; the two other magazines did not have negative tone but neutral reports. After April 20, 2003, two magazines (Time, U.S. News & World Report) published 9 articles criticizing the Chinese government incompetence and Chinese officials for lying. Second, the neutral articles decreased 86% down to 62.5% after April 20, 2003. The neutral articles number increased from 6 to 15, the negative articles increase led to the proportion of neutral articles decreased. Finally, there were not any positive reported articles in American magazines during the research sample period of time. H1: In SARS reporting, Chinese magazines will pay more attention to the doctors, nurses and government officials efforts in controlling the epidemic than American magazines. H2: American magazines will focus more on SARS impact on ordinary people. H1 predicted that the Chinese media focus more on the governments officials and medical professionals than American magazines. Table 4-10. Comparing the images in the articles in the three Chinese magazines to that of U.S. magazines Images Chinese Magazines U.S. Magazines Decisionmaker Count % of total articles 47 29% 5 16%
41 Table-4-10 Continued Images Chinese Magazines U.S. Magazines Actiontaker Count % of total articles 55 33% 4 13% Victims Count % of total articles 8 24% 3 10% Ordinary People Count % of total articles 57 34% 18 59% Total Count % of total articles 167 100% 31 100% 2(3) =10.24, p < .01 Table 4-10 showed that the findings of the research strongly supported the hypothesis one. There were 47 articles about government officials and WHO officials, 55 articles about medical professionals in Chinese magazines on SARS coverage which were 62% of total Chinese articles, much higher than 29% of total American articles about the same two groups. Table 4-11 showed that 35% of photos (including covers and inside photos) in Chinese magazines were about decision-makers and action-makers, while more than 18% of photos in American magazines were about he same images. Table 4-11. Comparing the images in the photos including covers and inside photos in the three Chinese magazines to that of U.S. magazines Images Chinese Magazines U.S. Magazines Decisionmaker Count % of total photos 8 6% 2 3% Actiontaker Count % of total photos 36 29% 9 15% Victims Count % of total photos 7 6% 3 4% Ordinary People Count % of total photos 68 53% 29 47% Others Count % of total photos 7 6% 19 31% Total Count % of total photos 126 100% 62 100% 2(4) =22.87, p < .01 H2 predicted that American magazines paid more attention to SARS impact on ordinary people than Chinese magazines. The findings of the research partly supported
42 the hypothesis according to the statistics in Table 4-10 and Table 4-11. Table 4-10 indicated that 59% of articles in American magazines were about ordinary people, while more than 34% articles in Chinese magazines were about same group. But Table 4-11 showed that 53% of photos (including covers and inside photos) in Chinese magazines were about ordinary people, while slightly more than 47% of photos in American magazines about the same group. H3: Chinese magazines displayed more positive aspects in their reporting on SARS H4: American magazines displayed the more negative aspects. H3 and H4 predicted that the tone of media between Chinese magazines and American magazines were different, Chinese magazines tended to reflect the more positive aspects of SARS reporting, while American magazines tended to reflect the more negative aspects of the disease. The findings of the research strongly supported the H3 and H4 according to Table 4-12 ( 2(2) =9.31, p<.01). There were 40 articles (24% of total articles) in Chinese magazines using a positive tone. Although the objects of praise in their articles were changed from governments to medical professionals, this figure was much higher than that in American magazines where there were no positive articles. Only 24% articles in Chinese magazines had a negative tone compare to 32% of articles in American magazines had. Table 4-12. The tone of media in the articles of Chinese magazines and the U.S. magazines Attitude Chinese Magazines U.S. Magazines Negative Count % of total articles 40 24% 10 32%
43 Table 4-12 Continued Attitude Chinese Magazines U.S. Magazines Neutral Count % of total articles 87 52% 21 68% Positive Count % of total articles 40 24% 0 0% Total Count % of total articles 167 100% 31 100% 2(2) =9.31, p < .01 H5: American magazines will focus more on the lethality of SARS than Chinesemagazines. H6: Chinese magazines will focus more on the efforts against the disease than American magazines. H5 and H6 predicted that American magazines focus more SARS lethality than Chinese magazines, which could focus more on the peoples efforts against disease. Table 4-13. The photos of people with masks or not (just photos with people, including covers, but not including the photo without people) Chinese magazines and U.S. magazines Chinese Magazines U.S. Magazines With Masks 76 68% 41 80% Without Masks 36 32% 10 20% Adults 98 88% 44 86% Children 14 12% 7 14% 2(3) =2.77, p > .01 The findings of the research supported H5 and H6. Table 4-13 showed that, in the photos (just photos with people, including covers and inside photos, but not including the photos without people), 68% of images in Chinese magazines depicted people wearing masks and most people wearing masks in Chinese magazines were medical professionals; 80% of photos in American magazines depicted people wearing masks, and most people
44 wearing masks in American magazines were ordinary people. Fourteen percent of photos in American magazines showed children in SARS issue, while only 12.5% did so in Chinese magazines. Table 4-14. The virus photos and disease distribution photos in Chinese magazines and U.S. magazines Chinese Magazines U.S. Magazines Virus Count % of total photos 3 2% 7 11% Disease Distribution Count % of total photos 4 2% 12 19% 2(1) =.08, p < .05 Table 4-14 showed that only 2.3% of total photos in Chinese magazines described the virus, but 11% of total photos in American magazines described the virus. Only 2.3% of total photos in Chinese magazines displayed the disease distribution in China or in the world, but 19% of total photos in American magazines displayed the distribution in the world thereby heightening of SARS.
CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION Discussion RQ 1: Are there significant changes in the three Chinese magazines issue frames before and after April 20, 2003? RQ 2: Are there significant changes in the three American magazines issue frames before and after April 20, 2003? The results disclosed that there are significant changes in the three Chinese magazines before and after April 20, 2003 when the Chinese government revealed the facts about SARS at a news conference. The silence of the media before April 20 and overwhelming reporting after April 20 indicated that the news reports were constrained by the Chinese ideology and cultural tradition. The differences were based on whether the Chinese media were allowed by Chinese government to report the issue. Confucianism influenced Chinese political ideology as a father-son relationship, with the father in an absolutely dominant position. Chinese leaders see their role one of looking after the public, like a father would a child. In a report on April 7 in Newsweekly (Chinese magazine), Liu Huajiang, an official of Guangdong province, said sometimes the government thought it was good not let people know the truth immediately, like protecting their children. Although a new Chinese government appeared on a political stage in 2003 as the image of the peoples servant, the thousand-year-feudal tradition of officers being higher than the masses still continues in some aspects. The government 45
46 usually conceals or delays telling the public the truth when faced with large events, especially a public health crisis or threats that would have negative effects on the public. On the other hand, the Chinese Communist party just held a conference to elect a new communist party leader in February 2003, and the new Chinese leader Hu Jingtao just exercised control of the party and built a new administration with Prime Minister We Jiabao. To avoid taking responsibility for a potential crisis and win the trust of the new power, the officials in the Health Department intentionally concealed the truth about SARS. Then even lied to media, the ex-Health Department minister Zhang Wenkang said in a news conference on March 20, 2003, the disease is under control, and China is safe for travelers. Only one month later, he was fired for his incompetence, but the negative impression left by the deception disappointed the public and made them angry with bureaucrats (Yu, Jin, Zhang, Z. & Zhang Y., 2003). Comparing the behavior of the Chinese media before and after April 20, 2003, the role in dilemma of the Chinese media was made obvious. Before the new Chinese government decided to make the SARS issue transparent to the public, the Chinese media seemed to have just two roles to act: the one as a dumb, or as a bystander, such as Sanlian Life Weekly, Outlook Weekly, had few reports about SARS. The other one is as an advocate of fake peace. Thus, in News Weekly, most of reports about SARS in this period praised the government for taking actions to protect the publics health, safety, or informed the publics there was nothing worth worrying about. After the governments news conference on April 20, 2003, a large number of reports about the SARS issue flooded the country. Twenty four percent of total reports were critical, which demonstrated that Chinese media were eager to be heard. At the same time, the Chinese
47 medias focus transferred from government officials to medical professionals and ordinary people. This is because freedom and independence are always long-term goals of Chinese media. The mass media and communication should take the function of informing the publics, at the same time, take the responsibility to supervise governments work, under the control of the government and strict news censorship, the mass media in China lost partly its freedom and rights. Some Chinese communication scholars believed that this method of dealing with crisis information may have some advantages. They included allowing the government to focus on handling the crisis without public interference, or avoiding panic and intense instability in society. However, it is obvious that there are more disadvantages including neglecting public awareness of crisis and weakening the mass medias functions. A nontransparent formal information channel (traditional mass media) in modern society that has advanced informal information channels creates conditions for wide-rumors spreading. Without supervision from the mass media, in its watchdog function, government officers may sacrifice the publics benefits leading to severe corruption and malfeasances. Those disadvantages would result in losing the peoples trust in the government and mass media. In SARS reporting in China, the disadvantages of the traditional method of dealing with crisis were completely exposed and created a very bad impression. According to a survey in April 22th-23th made by Media Research Institute of Chinese People University, after April 20th when the Chinese government made SARS information transparent, only 66% people believed in official information, and people with higher education were less likely to believe in official information (Yu, Jin, Zhang, Z. & Zhang Y., 2003). This reflects that its not easy to
48 remove the bad impression left in peoples minds. Because the mass media in China has no independence, it leads to the incompetence in the common media. But for professional journalists, how would they deal with next outbreak crisis? There was no significant change in the three American magazines, except for increasing reports on patients and victims before and after April 20, 2003. The individualism culture and ideology were reflected in the way when the three American magazines reported on the SARS disease. Before and after April 20, 2003, the American media insisted on focusing on the impact of SARS on the common people in SARS issue because its culture is connected with personal freedom and human rights. Being relatively independent, American media may not be affected by a foreign government news conference when reporting international news. RQ 3: Are there significant changes in the three Chinese magazines tone of media before and after April 20, 2003? RQ 4: Are there significant changes in the three American magazines tone of media before and after April 20, 2003? The findings of this research indicated that there were some significant changes in the Chinese magazines tone of the media before and after April 20, 2003. The positive tone of Chinese media changed from 63% down to 20% after the Chinese governments news conference on April 20, 2003. But the positive tone of the media still constituted an important aspect of reporting the outbreak of crisis, which reflected the traditional Chinese harmony theory, which seeks out the positive aspects in a crisis and is obedient to authority. However, in the whole research time period, the Chinese media published the same number of critical articles as positive articles, which suggests China is
49 influenced by Western culture since it has been open to the world at the last century of the end of 1970s. Looking for free media is one of the goals in Chinese development. The SARS crisis provided a great opportunity of thinking reforms of political system and public health system in China though there is a long way to go. On the other hand, SARS is a wake up call for a health care system under stress, Peter A Cameron and Timothy H Rainer mentioned (2003, p. 409), It is likely that a better prepared and appropriately funded health system may have reduced the impact of this disease. To prepare for the next crisis, the following issues must be addressed: infection control training, infectious disease facilities, health care workers safety and morale, reporting and coordination of response to an infectious disease outbreak and disaster planning. A functioning public health system is needed urgently in China. During SARS crisis, the Chinese government worried about the spread of the virus to rural areas, where medical services are weak. The negative tone of the American media where was no positive reporting on the SARS issue reflected that countrys anti-communism ideology. H1: In SARS reporting, Chinese magazines will pay more attention to the doctors, nurses and government officials efforts in controlling the epidemic than American magazines. H2: American magazines will focus more on SARS impact on ordinary people. H3: Chinese magazines will display more positive aspects in their reporting on SARS H4: American magazines display the more negative aspects.
50 The findings of this research supported those four hypotheses. Chinese magazines focus more on the government officials and medical professionals efforts in controlling the disease, while American magazines focus more on ordinary people. Chinese magazines display more positive aspects in the reporting on the SARS issue. American magazines display the more negative aspects. The difference between individualism and collectivism is reflected in the media and leads to differing views of the same image. In the case of SARS reporting, the image of the public in U.S. magazines was 59 percent, higher than the 34 percent in Chinese magazines, which illustrates narratives of U.S. magazines were more focused on the public as a whole and on ordinary people; the image of the officials and medical professionals in Chinese magazines was 62%, much higher than 29% in American magazines. Behind those figures, cultural and ideological differences illuminate framing in news. In reporting on SARS, all 10 negative articles in U.S. magazines criticized the Chinese government which further demonstrates the anticommunist position of U.S. news. There were few reports about the Chinese government or its doctors and nurses in their efforts in fighting SARS, even though they succeeded in controlling the spread of SARS by the middle of May 2003. Contrasting the lack of U.S. coverage after May 19, the number of articles from May 19 to the end of July in Chinese Magazines was 81, 48.5 percent of the total SARS reporting in the three Chinese magazines during the research period.
51 Figure 5-1. Times cover (May 5, 2003) and Sanlian Life Weeklys cover (May 5, 2003)According to the covers of Time (May5, 2003) and Sanlian Life Weekly (May 5, 2003), US focused on the Virus Spread, Chinas cover-up, and asked, How scared should you be. China focused on the Medical professionals at work and on the firing of the Health Minister (headline the politics of SARS). Reporting in Time Magazine included the following examples: the title on the cover of Time, The truth about SARS: Why the virus spreads, Chinas COVER-UP, How SCARED should you be?(Time, May 5, 2003), and the narratives in the articles, If not for the secrecy of the Chinese government, health officials could have acted a lot earlier (Time, 04/14/2003, p. 73), saving face than saving lives (Time, April 21, 2003, p. 62), long history of not facing up its medical problem (Time, April 21, 2003, p. 62). These reinforced the anticommunism ideology in U.S. media.
52 Considering the subject of the news coverage, as well as the balance of the coverage, Chinese magazines paid more attention to the efforts to fight the disease, and encouraged people to conquer the hardship and praised the wisdom of government leaders and the contribution of doctors and nurses. Some cover titles in Outlook Weekly were Whole country against SARS, and, Change SARS crisis into opportunity. One title in News Weekly was, China is recovering. Beautifying images in negative news made these reports describe doctors and nurses as angels in white, brave soldier, hero in city; government leaders were described as efficient, responsible except for some officials who were fired. H5: American magazines will focus more on the lethality of SARS than Chinese magazines. H6: Chinese magazines will focus more on the efforts against the disease than American magazines. The findings supported Hypotheses five and six. The cultural and ideological influences in framing news were obviously displayed in media of both countries. According to the covers of Newsweek (May 5, 2003) and News Weekly (May 5, 2003), the US magazines shows a Panicked look in the persons eyes, while Chinese magazines shows a Calm look, even a blue sparkle added to eyes. The difference between the covers indicated the different cultural and ideological factors influenced the framing the news.
53 Figure 5-2. Newsweeks cover (May 5, 2003) and News Weeklys cover (May 5, 2003) Keeping harmony is one of most important traits in Chinese culture that lasts more than 5,000 years. People believed in a harmonious relationship with nature (Neuliep, 2001). Harmony theory affects peoples behaviors so deeply that it can be found in many aspects in daily lives. For example, people avoid debating even when they hold opposite opinions in communication, and just share their happiness with their families and friends, deal with hardships or troubles by themselves, which reflects Chinese people have a trend to accept good news. However, conflict theory was more often reflected in the Western culture. For example, people believe that nature is something to be controlled, domesticated, and subjugated (Neuliep, 2001). They believe people have the power to change the world. In
54 such societies, people and nature are in conflict. Debating in public was a common phenomenon in ancient western countries. In western culture, people more readily express bad news directly. In SARS reporting, this is inclination in covering the news which reflected these own cultural traits. The conflict between commercialization and professional ethics has challenged media. Therefore, when the American media existed in a relatively free political-media system, made decisions on reporting SARS, did they base on their discrimination what to cover the sensational news? Or on an unbiased depicting of the truth? If disease disaster happened, should media report it with humanity to the public? Or just be excited by sensational news? Conclusion This research project examined how the coverage of the SARS epidemic was portrayed in three Chinese magazines and three American magazines before and after the Chinese governments news conference on April 20, 2003. The research assumed the Chinese governments news conference was a critical turning point, because the news conference directly affected the tone of media or content of coverage in both media, especially Chinese media. Furthermore, the research explored the culture and ideological frame which partly led to the differences between the coverage of Chinese magazines and American magazines on the SARS issue. The findings showed that there were some significant changes in the Chinese media before and after April 20, 2003. The numbers of articles after the news conference was nine times more than before. The positive articles decreased more than three times than before the news conference. The media focus in China transferred from government officials to medical professions and ordinary people.
55 The findings also showed that there were no significant changes in the American media before and after April 20, 2003. American media always focused on ordinary people in coverage but increased the number of critical articles after April 20, 2003. There were not any positive articles in American magazines. All six hypotheses were supported. The cultural, ideological elements combined with media environment, framed the coverage of news in both countries. Collectivism, harmony theory, communism combined with the influence of western culture shaped the Chinese medias changeable attitudes on the coverage SARS. Individualism and anticommunism combined with commercialized journalism constituted the American style coverage. In summary, the research provided some evidence for international framing news in the context of globalization. The study should contribute to improving mutual understanding and cooperation between two different cultures and ideologies. Limitation This study examined the perspectives of culture and ideology, but did not consider how the media should react to a major public health crisis, which is important aspect for future study. In designing the content analysis, only the images of people in articles were considered. The other descriptions in articles which may affect framing were not studied. The sample magazines were a small part of the media in the two countries. For China, the SARS issue was domestic news, while for the United States, the event was international news, therefore, the degree of importance for the two countries might be different. Thus the way in which the news was dealt would be different, even without cultural and ideology differences.
56 Some of the original meanings of the articles may have been lost in translation since the research examined the magazines in Chinese and in English. Future Research China has had a Confucian tradition for thousands of years, and Marxism has been the dominant political ideology for a half a century (Mei-Ching NG, 2002). The Chinese people accepted more of Western culture since China reopened the door to the world in the 1980s. With the entry into the WTO (World Trade Organization) in 2001, China speeds up its modernization while embracing globalization on some level. The Chinese people are not only influenced by individualism as a matter of self-direction, but also have ingrained in them the value of submission to authority (Mei-Ching NG, 2002). For example, Jiang Yongyan, a retired doctor, was the first person who sent the SARS truth online, which introduced the SARS problem to the world.
APPENDIX CODING PROTOCOL Fill out one sheet per article or picture. Analyze all of the stories given to you. Article number and picture number: for each coding sheet, a sequential integer should be entered in the blank to the right of pages. Start with the number a for the first article coded, continue with a for the second article, and so forth. Start with the number b for the first cover, continue with b for the second cover, and so forth. Start with the number c for the first inside photo, continue with c for the second inside photo, and so forth. Date: Enter the date of the article (cover/photo) being coded on the line to the right of page in a month/day/year format. Coder: Enter the appropriate number for who you are. Enter for Yao Qin, and for the second coder. The main coding table: If the image in an article of Sanlian Life Weekly from China is government officials belong to decision-maker, it shows the characteristic of (X_121). B presents before, which means this article was published before the Chinese government News conference on April 20, 2003. A represents after the conference. If the article was published on March 20, the coder should mark Yes in B column. Images: The image is the person the article/photo focused on. An article usually has more than one image. You will just be coding the image most frequently described. You will be coding for four different categories of an article/ photo. o Decision-makers (including government leaders, WHO officials) o Action-takers (doctors and nurses, researchers, scientists. other workers) o Victims (patients, suspicious patients and people under quarantine) o Ordinary people Visual images: the photos in covers and inside pictures. This research categorized the visual images into the people with masks and the people without masks, the adults and the children. Those photos were not related the people are not included in it. But the other photos displayed virus and disease distributions will be counted respectively. 57
58 o Virus: the photos display virus. o Disease distribution: the photos display the SARS spreading counties. Tone of Media: the overall balance of media coverage for each issue. o Negative expression cover-up truth, incompetence, invalidity, failure to control, cheat, scared, unnecessary focus, fear of exposure, crisis, under stress, panic o Neutral expression emphasis, inspection, direction, test, reflect, experiment, detect o Positive expression work hard, in control, make efforts, responsible, sacrifice for work, brave, fearless, wise decision, praise
59 Coding Sheet A. Article number __________ ID B. Date ___/___/___DATE Cover number __________ Picture number __________ C. Coder 1) Yao Qin 2) #2 ________________ Coder Nation Magazines Images B A Decision-maker (X_111) Action-taker (X_112) Victims (X_113) Outlook Wee k (X_11) Ordinary people (X_114) Decision-maker (X_121) Action-taker (X_122) Victims (X_123) Sanlian life Weekly (X_12) Ordinary people (X_124) Decision-maker (X_131) Action-taker (X_132) Victims (X_133) China (X_1) News Weekly (X_13) Ordinary people (X_134) Decision-maker (X_211) Action-taker (X_212) Victims (X_213) Time (X_21) Ordinary people (X_214) Decision-maker (X_221) A ction-taker (X_222) Victims (X_223) U.S. News & W (X_22) Ordinary people (X_224) Decision-maker (X_231) Action-taker (X_232) Victims (X_233) The United States (X_2) News Week (X_23) Ordinary people (X_234)
60 Nation Magazines Tone of media B A Negative (X_141) Neutral (X_142) Outlook Weekly (X_11) Positive (X_143) Negative (X_151) Neutral (X_152) Sanlian life Weekly (X_12) Positive (X_153) Negative (X_161) Neutral (X_162) China (X_1) News Weekly (X_13) Positive (X_163) Negative (X_241) Neutral (X_142) The United States Time (X_21) Positive (X_243) Negative (X_241) Neutral (X_242) U.S.News &World Report (X_22) Positive (X_243) Negative (X_241) Neutral (X_242) (X_2) News Week (X_23) Positive (X_243) Nation Photos With mask (X_131) China (X_1) Without masks (X_132) With masks (X-141) The United States (X_2) Without masks ( X_142) Nation Photos Adults (X_151) China (X_1) Children (X_152) Adults (X-161) The United States (X_2) Children (X_162) Nation Photos Virus (X_171) China (X_1) Disease distribution (X_172) virus (X-181) The United States (X_2) Disease distribution (X_182)
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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Yao Qin was born in Chengdu, China. She completed her B.A. from the Sichuan International Study University in English culture and literature in 1995. After spending a few years working for a newspaper in China, she began work on her masters degree at the University of Florida. She will graduate from the University of Florida in August 2005. 66