Media Gatekeeping with Chinese Characteristics: An Analysis of the Chinese Government’s Role in English-Language State-Owned News Organizations

University essay from Lunds universitet/Centrum för öst- och sydöstasienstudier

Abstract: This thesis strives to explore the relationship between Chinese news media publications and their Government overseers through the usage of both a quantitative and qualitative methodology. The research goal is to input collected data through a sentiment analysis technique to find variations within as well as between the news media apparati. These variations will hopefully shed light on the extent to which the Chinese State has been overseeing their news media at the article level. The Chinese concept of ‘unity and harmony’ has been long espoused by its leaders. However, whether this concept pervades into the realm of media publications meant for foreign distribution will be examined. This ideal, in conjunction with the well-established Western-oriented Gatekeeper theory, provides the theoretical foundation upon which the following research is built. The conclusion of the research is that while there is undeniably significant evidence of unity amongst the various news media, there are still factors that indicate lower levels of unity than anticipated. However, it is wholly confirmed through the sentiment analysis that the usage of gatekeepers has a significant impact with regards to the dictation of Chinese media’s actions and statements. Overall, this thesis has shed light on the direction the Chinese Government has taken their media outlets.

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