Tinted revolutions in prismatic news: Ideological influences in Greater China’s reporting on the role of social media in the Arab Uprisings

Ying Roselyn DU*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Social media is widely seen as playing a crucial role in the Arab Uprisings. This study compares news coverage in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan regarding social media in the Arab Uprisings. Content analysis of 162 news stories revealed that media in the three regions constructed their coverage within different frames, despite the events being geographically remote to the three Greater China regions and occurring in countries with which Greater China has little cultural, religious, ethnical, or economic connections. Overall, a clear pro-social-media pattern was found in Hong Kong and Taiwan media coverage, whereas in mainland China social media and the users involved in the Arab Uprisings were treated in the news in an obscured or unfavorable manner. Mainland China’s coverage was less likely to mention censorship of social media in the revolutions, whereas Hong Kong and Taiwan media frequently reported censorship and took a stance against it. Hong Kong and Taiwan media were also inclined to relate situations in the Arab Uprisings to mainland China. Such variations in the media coverage arguably are mainly due to ideological differences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1471-1489
Number of pages19
JournalJournalism
Volume19
Issue number9-10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Arab Uprisings
  • censorship
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • news framing
  • protests
  • social media
  • Taiwan

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