Online News Media as Interactive Community Bulletin Boards: Coverage of SARS in the Greater China Regions

Alice Y. L. Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examines the social roles of online news media in their coverage of the SARS epidemic in Hong Kong, mainland China and Taiwan. It conceptualizes online news media as “interactive community bulletin boards” and evaluates their performance in informing and educating the public as well as building community linkage under crisis situations. Due to media censorship, online news media in mainland China were under great constraints in reporting the epidemic in its initial stages. Nevertheless, after mid-April, online news sites in mainland China, along with their counterparts in Hong Kong and Taiwan, had fulfilled their roles as interactive community bulletin boards by widely delivering warnings and advice about the epidemic. Among the three regions, only the online news media in Hong Kong were able to play an active role in community building and social cohesion. However, the role of the interactive community bulletin board has led the online news coverage skewing to brief, fragmented and non-analytical reporting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-204
Number of pages8
JournalMedia Asia
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2003

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Medicine(all)

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