Press Performance and Audience Perception in Hong Kong: A Public Interest Model

Project: Research project

Project Details


The primary goal of this research is to advance a theoretical model of press performance. Contextualized in Hong Kong, the study will also develop a set of operational definitions corresponding to the meaning explication. Both contribute to existing knowledge because in so doing, we connect Hong Kong’s press content with perceptions of it by audience members. Results are expected to contribute to message production and effects theories, foster an active citizenry and facilitate a responsible press essential for the democratic process of the community.

The first part of the project links press performance with public interest. Here, we conceptually divide press performance into seven dimensions, each tapping into one key aspect of news production and information dissemination. Within the theoretical framework, a content measurement model is constructed. We intend to conduct a large-scale analysis on a sample of daily newspapers, free or paid, currently in circulation in Hong Kong across a span of two years from January 1 2013 till December 2014.

The second part constructs theories with data from an audience survey that probes what individuals seek and obtain from exposure to news content in the press. In investigating the sought-received gap, our research extends the established dichotomy to involve sources of dissatisfaction and the social psychological process of collective dissonance reduction. The seven measurement scales employed in content analysis translate into seven matching areas of audience perceptions, where consistencies and discrepancies are examined. Of particular relevance to our thinking are various types of reader perceptions as forms of cognitive response to news coverage, as constructed images of media institutions, and as attitudinal heuristics to media use and other behavioral intentions. The survey is scheduled in the second half of 2014 to corroborate with data from content analysis.

The study makes serious attempts at both theoretical contribution through extension of the uses and gratification theory and methodological innovation through cross-examination of content and audience data. A series of academic publications, including journal articles, a book on the Hong Kong press, and research monographs are being planned. Results of the analyses are also expected to be made available to the general public and media industry to facilitate an energetic citizenry in Hong Kong.
Effective start/end date1/01/1331/12/15


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