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Deviation of Public Opinion and Public Decision-making from the Perspective of Public Sphere

Author: ZhaoPanPan
Tutor: LiZhan
School: Xiamen University
Course: Communication
Keywords: Chinese Newspaper Public Sphere Dispute of Nujiang Dam Public Decision-making
CLC: G212
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2014
Downloads: 4
Quote: 0
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Abstract


In the complex context of economic development and reflections of this development mode, environmental issues display unique features of complexity and contradictoriness in China. Media, as an important source for public’s acquiring information, its representations of environmental issues can influence public cognition on such issues, which in turn may influence public attitude and behavior. In modern societies, media to some extent is acting and functioning as "public sphere". This study deals with reports in relation to the Dispute of Nujiang Dam on nine newspaper with great influence in China as research sample, adopting content analysis as the research method in analyzing the characteristics when reported by Chinese newspaper, and performance of different entities when participating this event. It also explores and discusses the possible reasons which may cause the existing situation.The study discovers that the Chinese newspaper had emerged two tides of reporting of the Dispute of Nujiang Dam which were in accordance with the time when Wen Jiabao gave instructions to postpone the construction of Nujiang Dam and when four geological experts expressed counterviews of building the Dam in a joint letter for leaders of State Council; Newspaper adopted information sources come mainly from experts and scholars; the participants of public discussions mainly held opposed attitude; On the event of the Dispute of Nujiang Dam, the public opinion on the public sphere of the media was not the basis for public decision-making. The study also discusses the possible reasons for features of existing reports from perspectives including agenda setting, the function of sources in news report, the dilemma of simultaneity of "Dual-Enforcement", different gatekeepers, asymmetrical power structure.

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CLC: > Culture, science,education, sports > Information and knowledge dissemination > Journalism,journalism > Press interviews and reports
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