This research examined news frames in coverage of SARS by newspapers in China and the United States. The assumption was that with the adoption of Western news values and practices, the Chinese press would exhibit news frames similar to those found in Western news. The results showed the presence of economic consequences, responsibility, conflict, leadership, and human-interest news frames in both the U.S. and Chinese newspapers. Depending on the newspaper's country of origin, however, the degree and manner of the frame uses varied.
Researchers have long understood news as an artifact of a socially constructed reality. In making news, journalists shape a reality that reflects the political economic and ideological boundaries within which they work.1 As such, patterns exist in the underlying messages of news items that reflect the structural and/or ideological elements impinging on journalists and their profession.
Through an examination of consistencies in news content, this research seeks to contribute to the growing body of knowledge concerning China's evolving media system, a system characterized as transitional.2 While strains of political ideology and tradition remain intact, China's current market-oriented economy has resulted in a complex media system where tensions exist between political demands and economic needs. Governmental control mechanisms co-exist with everincreasing commercial incentives.3 Still under the watchful eye of the government, the Chinese news media are increasingly adopting Western news values and practices in order to sustain operations or to flourish in China's authoritarian market economy.4 The question then is: If China's news media are now adopting Western news values and practices, are such values and practices reflected in their content? We explored this question by analyzing how newspapers in China reported the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS epidemic,5 and comparing it with coverage by U.S. newspapers. Working from the premise that politics often set the parameters of news discourse, we examined through framing analysis the similarities and differences between the Chinese and U.S. news stories. We argued that with China's adoption of Westernstyle reporting, similarities would be evident; the extent of these similarities, however, would be contained by the politics in each nation.
News Values and Practices in China
Earlier research on China's news media6 was based on the idea that the press was a mouthpiece of the central government and an ideological apparatus of the state. This perspective has changed, however, with recognition that economic reforms implemented since the late 1970s have brought about new news-making incentives. Although discussions7 of China's media system do acknowledge continued restrictions in the form of editorial oversight and structural control, scholars8 agree that the news media can no longer be viewed as merely presenting "propaganda designed to manipulate or indoctrinate the Chinese public mind."9 They write of both commercial and ideological forces infringing on Chinese journalists and of the press' new guiding tenet of pursuing marketing objectives while preserving the Chinese Communist Party's ideological control.10
Marketing is of increasing concern to China's news media as growth in number of available news outlets has made commercial survival imperative.11 Experiencing drastic reductions in governmental subsidies, even party newspapers have emulated their competitors' marketing strategies.12 To compete with nonparty mass appeal papers, they have added entertainment sections and established commercialized subsidiary publications.
Chinese journalists have incorporated elements of Western-style news reporting as well.13 Pan and Chan found that while many still regard the party organ news media role as ideal and believe journalism's role is interpreting government policies, a significant number of journalists perceive Western news media as ideal and report adopting Western news values and norms.14
The roots of such change can be found in China's changing journalism education. Since Deng Xiaoping's inclusion of educational development as part of his 1980s reform efforts, the number of journalism programs has increased.15 As politically sanctioned institutions, China's journalism schools have been careful not to step across the party line. At the same time, many have incorporated Western journalism tenets and hired Western journalists and academics to teach. Xu, Chu, and Zhongshi found that curricula in China's journalism schools mirror, to some degree, those in Western journalism schools, and emphasize similar news values (e.g., conflict, human-interest, consequences) and audience appeal.16 Even after leaving journalism schools, journalists receive training in Western journalism. For example, journalists from Xinhua News Agency, China Daily, and People's Daily are selected annually to study in the United States. News organizations often invite Western journalists to hold workshops.
If many Chinese journalists now hold news values similar to those of their Western counterparts, these values might be manifested in the journalists' writings. Price and Tewksbury assert that news frames that receive or fail to receive journalistic attention mirror news values of the journalists.17 In particular, conflict, human interest, and consequences or impact are among values that translate into news frames. Valkenburg, Semetko, and deVreese later added responsibility and specified "consequences" as economic consequences.18 While these frames have been found primarily within Western news media systems, these same frames might present themselves in Chinese news content if Chinese journalists are adopting Western news values.
Simply acknowledging that Western news values might be transformed into news frames in China, however, does not recognize the complexities of news production. Extramedia forces, especially politics and ideology, are said to often encroach upon the news-making process.19 Thus, in addition to understanding the journalists' news values and practices, one must consider the political and ideological environments in which they work. Chang suggests consideration be given the "prevailing collective experience and current orientation" within which China's news media are positioned.20
In terms of current political orientation, we find China's focus is on enhancing its global material prowess, recognition, and political power.21 This has led to policies designed to increase China's globalization, while encouraging nationalism. Lee observes that the Chinese media have been "caught in the crosscurrents"22 of both; the media have reflected the nationalism permeating the nation and China's "genuine hunger for international status."23 Thus, we considered that China's desire for global recognition and economic power, as well as a stronger sense of nationhood, might influence how newspapers covered the SARS crisis.
In terms of U.S. coverage, we considered the United States' political and economic position vis-à-vis China. The central objective that directs U.S. foreign policy is worldwide diffusion of capitalist democracy, with the underlying notion that capitalism will pave the road toward democracy.24 This has been the force behind U.S. policies toward China. Eagerly capturing a larger share of the Chinese market and believing that promotion of capitalism will lead to democracy, the United States has supported China's integration into the world economy.25 The United States has thus found itself in the position of promoting capitalism in China while disparaging its basic ideological belief system. If tensions arise in bilateral trade issues, the United States inevitably ties the issues to criticism of China's domestic politics.26 We expected that while concern with China's economic stability would be expressed in U.S. news coverage of SARS, it would be accompanied by criticisms of China's political system.
Research Hypotheses and Question
We began with four news frames (economic consequences, responsibility, human interest, conflict) identified in previous research. The economic consequences frame highlights the economic impact of actions or events on individuals, groups, or nations.27 The responsibility frame encompasses discussions of responsibility (i.e., blame or credit) for actions or events. In the human-interest frame, individual lives are featured to personalize the story, with affective dimensions accentuated. With the conflict frame, clashes between entities are emphasized; competition or war-related rhetoric is often presented. We speculated that with Chinese journalists adopting Western-style news values and practices, these frames would also be evident in the Chinese news. Further, if Semetko and Valkenburg were correct in asserting that these news frames can transcend topical and spatial limitations, these frames should be visible in the Chinese and U.S. press coverage of SARS.28
Because no previous study has examined these frames in Chinese news, we first deductively examined the SARS-related news content to confirm their existence and inductively identified additional frames. The four frames from earlier work were indeed present. We also found a "new" leadership frame in many articles. Because most previous studies focused on press coverage in one country, we reasoned that leadership might be a frame in international news (when one country's press reports on, say, the response of government in another country). In studies concerning international relations, leadership characteristics have been found to be an important factor in how nations interact.29
We also presumed that politics would set the boundaries for the five frames' extent and manner of use. Research has shown that journalists tend to provide coverage more favorable to their home nation when covering international affairs.30 We assumed that the degree and the manner of news frame use would rest on the extent to which the political stakes in the frames' presentations were high or low for the journalist's home nation.
Thus, we posited that the U.S. newspapers would highlight the economic consequences frame due to the United States' large investments in many of the countries affected by the SARS disease. With the continuing political tensions between the United States and China, we speculated that U.S. newspapers would highlight negative economic consequences. Given the fact that the largest outbreak of SARS took place in China, one would perhaps expect the Chinese newspapers also to focus more on economic consequences. Politics in China, however, need to be considered.
Examining SARS coverage in China, Xia and Ye found news media operating under two governmental directives.31 The first was that all coverage regarding number of SARS-related cases and fatalities needed confirmation by the government's Health Ministry and the Communist Party's Propaganda Department. The second was that news coverage should not affect social stability.32 The authors found that, after a period of virtual silence, news organizations began SARS coverage that was cautious and which stressed the government's SARS control and prevention measures.33 According to the authors, the newspapers strived to create an image of a pragmatic government and to coordinate activities between the public and the government. When journalists covered economic aspects of SARS, they reflected the central government's "Yishou zhua fangzhi feidian, yishou zhua jingji jianshe" (one hand preventing and controlling SARS and the other promoting economic efforts) position and emphasized the government's positive efforts in reducing any negative impact. Therefore, we expected that Chinese newspapers, in addition to providing less coverage to the economic consequences frame, would provide more positive coverage.
We expected that the Chinese newspapers would be less likely to present responsibility, leadership, and conflict frames than the U.S. newspapers. As the epicenter of the disease, China was receiving disparaging commentary from the international community regarding its SARS-related decisions and actions.34 Thus, we expected that with the press operating under government directives, journalists would be more likely to avoid frames calling attention to criticisms of their government and potentially disrupting social stability. However, we expected U.S. newspapers would be more likely to highlight these news frames. In particular, we anticipated that the U.S. newspapers would present China's responsibility in terms of blame, while also providing a negative Chinese leadership frame.
Finally, we postulated that Chinese newspapers would more likely present the human-interest frame than U.S. newspapers. In their study, Xia and Ye found that once China's news media began generating news coverage of SARS, many of their stories were human-interest stories.35 Stories such as "baiyi tianshi" (angels with white clothes) about nurses and doctors highlighted heroic deeds undertaken to fight SARS. By including such phrases as "people's war," "extraordinary hero," Xia and Ye maintain, these human-interest stories were used to "channelize" the sentiments of the people toward a more optimistic direction. These human-interest articles may also have served to divert attention from substantive issues regarding SARS. Iyengar and Kinder found that frames focusing on individual experiences, rather than on social structures, are often used in order to divert attention away from social responsibilities.36
With the above arguments, we posited the following hypotheses:
H1: In coverage of SARS, the Chinese newspapers will be less likely to present an economic consequences frame than will the U.S. newspapers.
H2: In coverage of SARS, the Chinese newspapers will be less likely to present a responsibility frame than will the U.S. newspapers.
H3: In coverage of SARS, the Chinese newspapers will be less likely to present a leadership frame than will the U.S. newspapers.
H4: In coverage of SARS, the Chinese newspapers will be less likely to present a conflict frame than will the U.S. newspapers, if any.
H5: In coverage of SARS, the Chinese newspapers will be more likely to present a human-interest (e.g., individuals struggling with SARS, affective reactions to SARS, social collective reactions) frame than will the U.S. newspapers.
Additionally, we examined the following research question: Will there be any differences among the Chinese newspapers' use of the five frames? People's Daily is targeted at a domestic readership, while China Daily is an English language paper intended for foreign readership. Therefore, our interest was in whether or not loosened content restraints might be more noticeable in China Daily than in People's Daily due to China's desire to increase its international stature. The Chinese government has approached China Daily differently since its inception. Launched in order to assist in China's open-door policy, it has always been allowed to exhibit degrees of "openness and boldness" that normally would be frowned upon in other newspapers.37 According to China Daily's editorial policy, the paper "caters to the needs and complies with the reading habits of foreigners."38 Thus, China Daily might be more likely to exhibit the type of news framing found in the U.S. newspapers than would People's Daily.
To compare Chinese and U.S. news coverage of SARS, we drew samples of news stories from the New York Times, Washington Post, People's Daily, and China Daily. The New York Times and Washington Post are major daily newspapers, coming closer than any others in terms of being national newspapers. They are said to often set the agenda for other U.S. news media.
The People's Daily, founded in 1948, was chosen for its sizable readership and ability, as an organ of the Chinese Communist Party, to shape the agenda for other publications on certain subjects. Until the 1990s, People's Daily was the primary agenda setter in China.39 More recently, however, with the onslaught of mass appeal newspapers, this function has decreased.40 Nonetheless, its stature and authority have not diminished; its impact on Chinese press coverage of issues/events deemed sensitive by the government is still great. Coverage of matters that potentially have major socio-economic ramifications, such as SARS, is still monitored closely by the government.41 Even the normally less propagandistic mass appeal papers "shy away from violating the party's propaganda codes" and share similarities with People's Daily when covering politically charged topics.42 Pan and Lu write that even though the market economy has provided the opportunity for alternative discourses, the Communist Party's licensing system and promotion of nationalistic sentiments among journalists have allowed the regime to keep journalists in line.43
China Daily was also chosen. Established in 1981 as the only English language newspaper, it was designed to introduce foreigners to China as part of China's economic reforms and open-door policy. Including the paper allows us to compare a newspaper designed to reach foreigners and a newspaper mainly targeted at the Chinese people. Such comparisons might allow us to explore whether or not the desire for international recognition is a factor in how China Daily shapes its news.
The time frame for this analysis encompassed the peak period of SARS from 1 February 2003 through 30 June 2003.44 News articles from the New York Times and Washington Post were collected via a Lexis-Nexis database search, using the key words "SARS," "mysterious respiratory illness," or "atypical pneumonia." Articles in which the key words were mentioned but unrelated to the main SARS topic were eliminated. This resulted in 233 stories from the Posf and 405 from the Times.
All SARS news items that appeared in People's Daily during the time frame were pulled from the paper's online service. After excluding editorials, letters to the editor, and other items not suitable for this study (e.g., verbatim text of official announcements, etc.), 1,146 articles remained. SARS-related news stories from China Daily were collected by accessing Lexis-Nexis and using the same key words used in the U.S. newspaper search,45 yielding 236 articles.
A stratified random sample was drawn for each newspaper. First, to manage the unbalanced number of news stories from the newspapers, 10% of the People's Daily news stories and 20% of the news stories from the remaining three newspapers were drawn as a weighted sample. Second, because we were interested in how the news frames might vary depending on the country of primary focus, the news stories were then categorized by country. The "country of focus" categories were China, Canada, Taiwan, the United States, and other/mixed (more than one country). Ten percent of the news stories from each "country of focus" category were drawn from People's Daily, while 20% of the stories from each country category were drawn from the three other newspapers. If the number of stories in a category was fewer than ten, all articles were drawn from that category. The final sample was 127 news articles from U.S. newspapers and 162 from Chinese newspapers.
As noted earlier, we had conducted an initial examination of a sample of the news articles, confirming the presence of four news frames from the literature and identifying a new leadership frame. Our first unit of analysis was the article. In coding, to allow for more than one frame to be present within each article, each frame was treated as a binary variable with a "yes" or "no" (present/absent) response.46 For example, for the leadership frame, the coder determined whether or not the article mentioned leadership activities, reactions, and/or effectiveness in the country of primary focus.
Our second unit of analysis was, in a sense, the mention of a frame. For the news frames of economic consequences, leadership, and human interest, if the presence of the news frame was "yes," a followup determination was made on the overarching valence of the particular frame: positive, neutral, negative, and non-ascertainable. If positive and negative presentations were both present, the valence of that frame was coded as neutral. For the responsibility frame, follow-up determinations focused on whether blame for the spread of SARS or credit for its containment was implied. A further determination focused on the target (e.g., China, United States, other) of blame or credit.
Two trained coders coded a random sample of 20% of the English newspaper articles and two other trained coders coded the same percentage of articles from the Chinese newspapers. The reliability coefficients for the main variables were well beyond the generally accepted .70 for content analysis.47
Chi-square analyses showed support for the first four hypotheses (see Table 1). For Hl, Chinese newspapers (24.69%) were less likely to present an economic consequences frame than U.S. newspapers (44.88%). Supporting H2, Chinese newspapers (10.49%) were also less likely to present a responsibility frame than U.S. newspapers (25.20%). As speculated, a majority of the U.S. articles that presented the responsibility frame in reference to China blamed China for the spread of SARS. The reverse was true with the Chinese newspapers; when presenting this frame in reference to China, the majority of the articles gave credit to China for containing the disease. Consistent with H3, Chinese newspapers (26.54%) were less likely to present a leadership frame than the U.S. newspapers (42.62%). Supporting H4, the Chinese newspapers (3.70%) were also less likely to present a conflict frame than U.S. newspapers (23.62%). H5, that Chinese newspapers would more likely present a human-interest frame than U.S. newspapers, was not supported; no significant differences were found between the U.S. and Chinese news stories.
For the frames of economic consequences, leadership, and human interest, we were also interested in determining whether or not the valence of these frames would vary in association with the newspaper's country of origin. As shown in Table 2, the U.S. newspapers were more likely to present each of these frames in a negative manner and the Chinese newspapers more likely to present them in a positive manner.
Our research question asked if there would be differences in the use of the five frames between the Chinese newspapers. For the economic consequences frame, China Daily was more likely to present this frame than People's Daily (χ^sup 2^ = 20.93, d.f. = 1, p < .001); 48.94% of China Daily's 47 articles and only 14.78% of People's Daily's 115 articles presented this frame. Note, however, that the People's Daily's frame valence was significantly more positive than that in China Daily.
A significant difference was also found between the two newspapers for the human-interest frame (χ^sup 2^ = 18.78, d.f. = 1, p < .001). People's Daily was more likely to present this frame (56.52 %) than China Daily (19.15%), although for both papers, the frame valence tended to be positive. For responsibility, leadership, and conflict frames, no significant differences were found between the two newspapers.48
The goal in comparing the two Chinese newspapers was to examine the possibility that the foreigner-targeted China Daily would be more similar to the U.S. newspapers than would People's Daily, targeted at a domestic readership. To further explore this, we compared each of the Chinese newspapers to the aggregated U.S. newspapers. We found a large significant difference in the presentation of the economic consequences frame between People's Daily and the U.S. newspapers (χ^sup 2^ = 25.76, d.f. = 1, p < .0001) and also a significant difference between People's Daily and U.S. newspapers on the responsibility frame (χ^sup 2^ = 11.46, d.f. = 1, p < .001). No significant differences were found for these frames between China Daily and the U.S. newspapers. For the leadership and conflict frames, significant differences were found for both People's Daily versus U.S. newspapers and China Daily versus U.S. newspapers, although the differences were stronger for the People's Daily comparison than the China Daily comparison. In terms of the human-interest frame, a significant difference was found only between China Daily and the U.S. newspapers.
Discussion and Conclusion
Comparing newspaper coverage of the SARS epidemic, we expected that with the adoption of Western news values, the Chinese press would use news frames similar to those used in the U.S. press. We argued, however, that politics of each nation would set the boundaries for how the press would use the frames. We assumed that political schisms between the United States and China, as well as the Chinese government's remaining influence over sensitive subject matter, would shape the news frames' uses.
The results showed that the major news frames often found in the U.S. press were, indeed, present in the Chinese news content, thus suggesting that the Chinese journalists' adopted Western news values have permeated their writings. The findings also revealed a new frame of leadership consistently present in both the U.S. and Chinese news content, indicating that leadership might be a frame prevalent in international news stories.
The extent and manner of news frame use between the U.S. newspapers and Chinese newspapers varied, however. The U.S. newspapers more frequently emphasized the economic consequences, responsibility, leadership, and conflict frames than did the Chinese newspapers. The Chinese news articles presented the economic consequences, responsibility, and leadership news frames in a more positive fashion than the U.S. news articles. While the U.S. newspapers highlighted the negative economic impact of the disease and blamed the Chinese leaders for the spread of SARS, the Chinese newspapers focused on the positive initiatives that the Chinese leaders were undertaking to curtail any negative economic impact of the disease. U.S. newspapers were also more likely to provide a conflict frame and tended to associate conflict with China.49 Of the few Chinese newspaper articles that did cover conflict, the focus was on external entities and not on internal conflict.
A previous study of news coverage of SARS in China50 found that news items tended to focus on human-interest stories. Given that China's government was stressing the safeguarding of social stability during the SARS crisis, and given the potential use of this frame as a diversionary device,51 we speculated that the human-interest frame would be more widely used in Chinese articles than in the U.S. articles. The findings, however, did not support this supposition. We found no difference between the U.S. and Chinese newspapers. This might suggest that the human-interest frame, once adopted in news coverage, is quite robust, for as Price and Tewksbury observe, people are "naturally interested in and receptive to learning about other people."52 Under the Soviet-inspired press model during China's pre-reform years, human-interest stories were unheard of in the state-run press.53 With adoption of Western news values and practices, however, it appears this has changed.
A difference, however, was observed in how the human-interest frame was presented: U.S. newspapers underscored the human-interest frame by focusing on negative human struggles (e.g., SARS victim struggles to survive, but in the end, passes away), while Chinese newspapers were more positive. The Chinese articles frequently focused on individuals heroically overcoming SARS, families triumphing over economic adversities brought on by the disease, and the promotion of morale among the people.
Finally, although coverage of SARS in China Daily and People's Daily was similar, differences did exist. China Daily was more likely to present an economic consequences frame. When People's Daily did present this frame, the presentations were more positive. People's Daily was also more likely to present the human-interest frame, although both papers presented it in a positive manner.
We found more parallels between China Daily and the U.S. newspapers than between People's Daily and the U.S. newspapers. People's Daily failed to differ from the U.S. newspapers only on the human-interest frame. This frame was used to a lesser extent in China Daily than in both People's Daily and the U.S. newspapers. Because China Daily is targeted primarily at foreigners, the diversionary role of human interest frames in the case of SARS would serve less of a purpose than in People's Daily, targeted at a domestic readership. People's Daily may have reached the U.S. newspapers' level of human-interest frame use because of its service as a diversionary device.54 Overall, however, China Daily shared greater similarities with the U.S. newspapers than did People's Daily. This finding might suggest that the Communist Party has further loosened its restraints on this primarily foreigner-targeted newspaper because of China's efforts to attain respected global status.
A limitation of this study might be in the selection of the Chinese newspapers. Some may question the appropriateness in comparing People's Daily and China Daily with the New York Times and Washington Post. Considering the story topics often covered, however, the two selected newspapers are similar in news coverage to those in the United States. Although many more newspapers now exist in China due to economic changes, many are either specialized newspapers catering to individuals in various occupations or social groups (e.g., women, youth, etc.) or are market-oriented papers that tend to emphasize "soft" or sensational news.55 An increasing number of city newspapers, such as the Southern City Daily, have done investigative reporting, but tend to have more of an urban focus and are characterized as reader-oriented tabloid papers.56 By analyzing China Daily and People's Daily, we were able to compare a newspaper mainly targeted at Western foreigners with one targeted at a domestic readership. In doing so we found that politics as well as the targeted market appeared to influence the extent and manner in which news frames were used.
Future research should further explore the impact of domestic political stakes on framing in international news coverage. Journalists might either avoid or accentuate particular news frames depending on such stakes. Studies could perhaps further examine news frames across a range of issues and news outlets in order to more comprehensively carry out "within" and "between" nation analyses. The possibility exists that significant divergences can be seen among the news outlets concerning the framing of issues/events in which the home-nation has little or no political stakes, whereas substantial similarities are detected in frame presentations in which the home-nation has considerable stakes.
1. Michael M. Gurevitch, "Comparative Research on Television News: Problems and Challenges," The American Behavioral Scientist 33 (2, 1989): 221-29; Daniel Hallin, We Keep America on Top of the World: Television Journalism and the Public Sphere (London: Routledge, 1994); Herbert Cans, Deciding What's News (New York: Pantheon, 1979); Pamela J. Shoemaker and Steven D. Reese, Mediating the Message: Theories of Influence on Mass Media Content (NY: Longman Publishers, 1996).
2. Chengju Huang, "Transitional Media vs. Normative Theories: Schramm, Altschull, and China," Journal of Communication 53 (3, 2003): 444-59.
3. Zhongdang Pan, "Improvising Reform Activities: The Changing Reality of Journalistic Practice in China," in Power, Money, and Media: Communication Patterns and Bureaucratic Control in Cultural China, ed. ChinChuan Lee (Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 2000), 68-111; Guoguang Wu, "One Head, Many Mouths," in Power, Money, and Media, ed. Lee, 45-67.
4. Huang, "Transitional Media vs. Normative"; Zhongdang Pan and Joseph Man Chan, "Shifting Journalistic Paradigms: How China's Journalists Assess 'Media Exemplars,'" Communication Research 30 (December 2003): 649-82; Zhongdang Pan and Ye Lu, "Localizing Professionalism: Discursive Practices in China's Media Reforms," in Chinese Media, Global Contexts, ed. Chin-Chuan Lee (New York: Routledge, 2003), 214-36.
5. The deadly and infectious disease SARS first came to public attention in February of 2003 when doctors in Hong Kong reported an atypical pneumonia that appeared to be untreatable. It would later be known that this mysterious disease actually had its origins in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong and that it had spread rapidly to other areas of the world including Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, Canada, and the United States. With the World Health Organization issuing a series of global alerts warning travelers to avoid those areas that had high rates of SARS cases, the disease gained worldwide notice and even led to panic in certain areas. See Romesh Ratnesar and Hannah Beech, "Tale of Two Countries," Time, 5 May 2003, 54-57.
6. Alex S. Edelstein and Alan Ping-lin Liu, "Anti-Americanism in Red China's People's Daily: A Functional Analysis," Journalism Quarterly 40 (summer 1963): 187-95; Fred S. Siebert, Theodore Peterson, and Wilbur Schramm, Four Theories of the Press (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1956).
7. "Media Freedom in China," Roundtable Before the CongressionalExecutive Commission on China (24 June 2002) One Hundred Seventh Congress, Second Session (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office).
8. Tsan-Kuo Chang, China's Window on the World (New Jersey: Hampton Press, 2002); Tsan-Kuo Chang, Chen-Hsien Chen, and Guo-Qiang Zhang, "Rethinking the Mass Propaganda Model: Evidence from the Chinese Regional Press," Gazette 51 (3, 1993): 173-95; Yuezhi Zhao, Media, Market, and Democracy in China: Between the Party Line and the Bottom Line (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998).
9. Chang, China's Window, 283.
10. Zhao, Media, Market, and Democracy; Yuezhi Zhao, "From Commercialization to Conglomeration: The Transformation of the Chinese Press Within the Orbit of the Party State," Journal of Communication 50 (2, 2000): 3-26; Zhongshi Guo, "To Each According to its Niche: Analyzing the Political and Economic Origins for a Structural Segregation in Chinese Press," The Journal of Media Economic 14 (1, 2001): 15-30.
11. Chin-Chuan Lee, "Mass Media: Of China, about China" in Voices of China: The Interplay of Politics and Journalism, ed. Chin-Chuan Lee (New York: Guilford, 1990), 3-29; Jian Wang and Tsan-Kuo Chang, "From Class Ideologue to State Manager: T.V. Programming and Foreign Imports in China, 1970-1990," Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 40 (spring 1996): 196-207; Zhao, Media, Market, and Democracy.
12. Guo, "To Each According to its Niche"; Zhou He, "Chinese Communist Party Press in a Tug-of-War," in Power, Money, and Media, ed. Lee, 112-51.
13. Huang, "Transitional Media vs. Normative"; Pan, "Improvising Reform Activities"; Pan and Chan, "Shifting Journalistic Paradigms"; Pan and Lu, "Localizing Professionalism."
14. Pan and Chan, "Shifting Journalistic Paradigms."
15. Won Ho Chang, Mass Media in China: The History and the Future (Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1989).
16. Yu Xu, Leonard L. Chu, and Guo Zhongshi, "Reform Challenge: An Analysis of China's Journalism Education under Social Transition," Gazette 64 (1, 2002): 63-77.
17. Vincent Price and David Tewksbury, "News Values and Public Opinion: A Theoretical Account of Media Priming and Framing," in Progress in Communication Science, vol. 13, ed. George A Barnett and Franklin J. Boster (Greenwich, CN: Ablex, 1997), 173-212.
18. Patti M. Valkenburg, Holli A. Semetko, and Claes H. de Vreese, "The Effects of News Frames on Readers' Thoughts and Recall," Communication Research 26 (5, 1999): 550-69.
19. Nicholas O. Berry, Foreign Policy and the Press: An Analysis of the New York Times Coverage of U.S. Foreign Policy (New York: Greenwood Press, 1990); Shoemaker and Reese, Mediating the Message.
20. Chang, China's Window, 283.
21. Yong Deng and Thomas G. Moore, "China Views Globalization: Toward a New Great-Power Politics?" The Washington Quarterly 27 (3, 2004): 117-36.
22. Chin-Chuan Lee, "The Global and the National of the Chinese Media," in Chinese Media, Global Contexts, ed. Chin-Chuan Lee (New York: Routledge, 2003), 1-31, 1.
23. Lee, "The Global and the National," 2.
24. Richard K. Herrmann and Jonathan W. Keller, "Beliefs, Values, and Strategic Choice: U.S. Leaders' Decisions to Engage, Contain, and Use Force in an Era of Globalization," The Journal of Politics 66 (2, 2004): 557-80; Claes G. Ryn, "The Ideology of American Empire," Orbis 47 (3, 2003): 383-97.
25. Michael Schaller, The United States and China (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002).
26. Odd A. Westad, "Containing China? NSC-68 as Myth and Dogma," SAIS Review 19 (1, 1999): 85-91.
27. Valkenburg, Semetko, and de Vreese, "The Effects of News Frames"; Holli A. Semetko and Patti M. Valkenburg, "Framing European Politics: A Content Analysis of Press and Television News," Journal of Communication 50 (2, 2000): 93-109; Claes H. de Vreese, Jochen Peter, and Holli A. Semetko, "Framing Politics at the Launch of the Euro: A Cross-national Comparative Study of Frames in the News," Political Communication 18 (2, 2001): 107-22.
28. Semetko and Valkenburg, "Framing European Politics, 93-109.
29. Jean Garrison, "Framing Foreign Policy Alternatives in the Inner Circle: President Carter, His Advisors, and the Struggle for the Arms Control Agenda," Political Psychology 22 (4, 2001): 775-807; Margaret G. Hermann, Handbook for Assessing Personal Characteristics and Foreign Policy Orientations of Political Leaders (Columbus, OH: Mershon Center, 1983).
30. Carolina Acosta-Alzuru and Eli P. Lester-Roushanzamir, "All You Will See Is the One You Once Knew: Portrayals from the Falklands/ Malvinas War in U.S. and Latin American Newspapers," Journalism Monographs 1 (4, 2000); Berry, foreign Policy and the Press.
31. Qian-Fang Xia and Xiao-Hua Ye, "Cong Shiyu dao Xuanhua: 2003 Nian 2 Yue Zhi 5 Yue Guonei Meiti 'SARS Weiji' Baodao Genzong" [From Silence to Hullabaloo: Tracking the Domestic Coverage of the SARS Crisis from February to May, 2003], Xinwen yu chuanbo yanjiu [Journalism and Mass Communication Studies] (2, 2003). Accessed 18 April 2005. Available
32. This information regarding the two directives was also confirmed by a journalist working for the Xinhua News Agency through a personal phone conversation with one of the authors on 24 May 2005.
33. Xia and Ye, "Cong Shiyu dao Xuanhua."
34. Hanna Beech, "Unmasking a Crisis," Time, 14 April 2003; Michael D. Lemonick, M.D., and Alice Park, "The Truth about SARS," Time, 5 May 2003.
35. Xia and Ye, "Cong Shiyu dao Xuanhua."
36. Shanto Iyengar and Donald R. Kinder, News that Matters: Television and American Opinion (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987).
37. Chang, Mass Media in China, 115.
38. Chang, Mass Media in China, 115.
39. John C. Merrill, Global Journalism (New York: Longman Publishing Group, 1991).
40. Huialin Chen and Chin-Chuan Lee, "Press Finance and Economic Reform in China," China Review 1998 (Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 1998), 577-610.
41. Guoguang Wu, "Command Communication: The Politics of Editorial Formulation in the People's Daily," China Quarterly 137 (March 1994): 194-211.
42. Zhao, "From Commercialization to Conglomeration," 12.
43. Pan and Lu, "Localizing Professionalism."
44. An announcement made on 11 February by the government of the Guangdong Province marked the first time in which the Chinese authorities publicly acknowledged the outbreak of the SARS disease. On 12 March 2003, the World Health Organization issued a global alert to health officials worldwide warning them about an atypical pneumonia-like illness. This announcement was immediately followed by international news media attention to the disease. By the end of June, the disease was believed to have been in its final stages of remission and the World Health Organization lifted its remaining SARS-related travel restrictions. see "Chronology of the SARS Outbreak," Agence France Press, 24 May 2003; "SARS Epidemic: China Orders Mandatory case Reporting; Other Developments," Facts on File World News Digest, 13 May 2003; "World Health Alert Issued After Ninth Death, Man Quarantined in Germany," Associated Press, 15 March 2003.
45. Our original intention was to pull from China Daily's online archives. We found, however, that many of the articles listed in its index were missing, thus, the reliance on the Lexis-Nexis database. It should be recognized that the Lexis-Nexis database might not have presented a comprehensive list of China Daily stories for our chosen time frame. This is a potential limitation of this study.
46. This binary coding method is similar to the one adopted by de Vreese, Peter, and Semetko, "Framing Politics at the Launch of the Euro."
47. Scott's pi, a stricter reliability measurement approach that takes into account the factor of chance agreement, was used for the calculations (see William A. Scott, "Reliability of Content Analysis: The case of Nominal Scale Coding," Public Opinion Quarterly 19 (autumn 1955): 321-25). For the English newspapers, the intercoder reliability figures for several of the main variables were as follows: 1.0 (country of primary focus), .95 (primary story subject related to SARS), .82 (valence [positive, neutral, negative, not ascertainable] of leadership activities, reactions, and/or effectiveness), .92 (valence [positive, neutral, negative, not ascertainable] of impact on business/economy), 1.00 (mention of political conflict in country of primary focus), .92 (source given credit for containing SARS), 1.00 (source blamed for the spread of SARS), 1.00 (mention of individual experiences in struggling with SARS or individual contributions in fighting SARS). For the Chinese newspapers, the intercoder reliability figures for the same variables were as follows: 1.00 (country of primary focus), .96 (primary story subject related to SARS), 1.00 (valence [positive, neutral, negative, not ascertainable] of leadership activities, reactions, and/or effectiveness), .95 (valence [positive, neutral, negative, not ascertainable] of impact on business/economy), 1.00 (mention of political conflict in country of primary focus), 1.00 (source given credit for containing SARS), 1.00 (source blamed for the spread of SARS), 1.00 (mention of individual experiences in struggling with SARS or individual contributions in fighting SARS).
48. When similar analyses were made between the New York Times and Washington Post, no significant differences were found between the two U.S. newspapers in terms of the economic consequences, responsibility, and human-interest frames. Yet compared to the Times, the Post was more likely to present the leadership frame (χ^sup 2^ = 9.06, d.f. = 1, p < .01) and the conflict frame (χ^sup 2^ = 7.108, d.f. = 1, p < .01). Two-thirds (60.87%) of the Post's 46 articles and 33.33% of the Times' 81 articles presented the leadership frame; 36.96% of Post articles presented the conflict frame, while 16.05% of Times articles presented this frame. All five news frames were presented in a negative way in both the Times and the Post, with no significant differences between the two. Perhaps the reason why the Post was more likely to focus on the leadership and conflict frames more than the Times is due to its location within the nucleus of U.S. political power in Washington, D.C., and its targeted politically oriented readership.
49. Note that in our coding, if the response was "yes" to the presence of the conflict frame in the news article, an area was left open for the coders to record the parties (e.g., China, United States, Taiwan, etc.) involved in the conflict.
50. Xia and Ye, "Cong Shiyu dao Xuanhua."
51. Iyengar and Kinder, News that Matters.
52. Price and Tewksbury, "News Values and Public Opinion."
53. Huang, "Transitional Media vs. Normative."
54. Iyengar and Kinder, News that Matters.
55. Chen and Lee, "Press Finance and Economic Reform"; Zhao, "From Commercialization to Conglomeration."
56. Chen and Lee, "Press Finance and Economic Reform"; Barrett L. McCormick and Qing Liu, "Globalization and the Chinese Media," in Chinese Media, Global Contexts, ed. Chin-Chuan Lee (NY: Routledge, 2003), 139-58.
Catherine A. Luther is an associate professor and Xiang Zhou is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Journalism and Electronic Media at the College of Communication and Information, University of Tennessee.…