Legitimating journalistic authority under the state's shadow: a case study of the Environmental Press Awards in China

Dong Dong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigated the legitimation of journalistic authority in the form of journalism awards. The Environmental Press Awards, an unofficial but highly regarded news competition among Chinese environmental reporters, was selected as a case study. The case was examined from three interconnected dimensions: the creation and maintenance of moral and pragmatic legitimacies; the strategic processes of cognitive and social legitimation; and a dual process of symbolic legitimation of the market media ideology. Research conclusions were formed based on statistical analysis of 181 award submissions and 10 in-depth interviews with key personnel in the host organizations, the journalism community, and environmental non-governmental organizations. By looking into the establishment, dynamics, and results of the awarding process, the alliance between the market media and the green civil society was seen to have created and buttressed the legitimacy of the award. Without the blessing from the party-state, such legitimacy is vulnerable but can also be enabling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-418
Number of pages22
JournalChinese Journal of Communication
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication

User-Defined Keywords

  • contemporary China
  • environmental journalism
  • journalism awards
  • journalistic authority
  • legitimacy
  • marketized media

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