ISSN 1016-1007 GPN2005600032
頁數:1﹣45 媒體系統變遷下的中國新聞報導: 美國、臺灣和香港的比較研究 News about China in Changing Media Systems: A Comparative Study of U.S., Taiwan, and Hong Kong Newspapers
李立峯、蕭蘋 、吳浩銘
Francis L. F. Lee, Ping Shaw, H. Denis Wu
comparative analysis, international news, linkage politics, media systems, News about China, political parallelism
在新聞學研究中,有關國際新聞報導的分析經常強調,報導內容反映了由政治精英所界定的國家利益及當下政府的外交政策。但同時,媒體機構的立場和意識形態也可能影響報導內容。而在一段較長的歷史時段中,個別媒體機構的立場以至媒 體系統的構成也可能出現轉變。究竟機構立場和媒體系統的變化如何影響報導內容?

本文指出,一個社會內不同媒體機構會否在報導國際或外地新聞時有明顯差異,視乎關聯政治的強弱和媒體系統內政治平行程度的高低。本文的經驗研究分析美國、臺灣和香港報章在 1977 年至 2017 年間如何報導中國。美國作為參照點,展示的是一個相對穩定而政治平行度不高的媒體系統的狀況。臺灣及香港的報業系統在研究所覆蓋的時段則經歷過明顯變化,包括新的媒體機構出現以及媒體政治平行的發展或重構。分析顯示,中國新聞報導的整體變化,的確部分地取決於個別媒體機構的立場轉變以及媒體系統的變化,但個別媒體機構和媒體系統的轉變結合起來時,有可能帶來中國報導在整體上和表面上的穩定性。文章結論部分討論研究結果在理論和方法學上的啟示。
Journalism research has long emphasized that foreign news is shaped by elite-defined national interests. Scant studies have addressed the differences between organizations and the implications of changes in media systems over time. This article contributes to the international news reporting literature by examining whether differences between organizations exist in the U.S., Taiwan, and Hong Kong news coverage of mainland China and how the evolution of such differences over time shaped the appearance and characteristics of China coverage.

This study theoretically draws upon the literature of journalism studies and explicates the dominant perspective that foreign news is shaped by national interests as well as how an emphasis on national interests and, to a lesser extent, cultural factors limit researchers’ attention to the question of these differences in foreign news reporting. The article argues that differences between organizations are likely to be prominent when “linkage politics” is strong and the degree of media political parallelism is high. Linkage politics refers to the degree to which foreign events and international relations are closely tied to or even integrated with local politics, whereas media political parallelism denotes the degree to which the media system of a society contains outlets of different political predilection that can be located on a spectrum parallel to the spectrum existing in the political arena. Since both domestic politics and media systems might evolve over time, the strength of linkage politics and the degree of media political parallelism can also vary over time, thus resulting in possible distinctive manifestations of between-organizations’ differences in foreign news reporting in different historical periods.

Given the theoretical considerations, the empirical research project compares how U.S., Taiwan, and Hong Kong newspapers covered China between 1977 and 2017. The U.S. represents a relatively stable media system with a low degree of media political parallelism through the entire period under study. Chinese politics and the U.S.-China relationship have not been clearly and strongly mapped onto the divide between the two major political parties in the former. Taiwan, by comparison, experienced liberalization and democratization in the 1980s and 1990s. Its media system changed from one dominated by pro-government parties to one that exhibits a high degree of political parallelism. Cross-strait relationships have experienced significant shifts over time, with the late 1970s to the early 1990s being a period of re-engagement between the two regimes across the Taiwan Strait and the 2000s onward as a period in which the two moved further away from each other ideologically. Hong Kong also experienced an important transformation from being a British colony to being a Special Administrative Region of China in the period under study. Its media system has long exhibited a significant degree of political parallelism, but the nature and character of the political parallelism has shown changes in accordance to social and political transformations.

Hypotheses and research questions are set up for each of the three places based on both conceptual and contextual considerations. The hypotheses and research questions are then tackled with data derived from content analysis of newspapers in the U.S. (New York Times and Wall Street Journal), Taiwan (China Times, United Daily News, Taiwan Apple Daily, and Liberty Times), and Hong Kong (Wen Wei Po, Sing Tao Daily, Ming Pao, and Apple Daily). The two U.S. newspapers are among the most prominent national papers in the country and represent the more liberal and more conservative perspectives, respectively. The Taiwan newspapers include both pro-KMT and pro-DPP outlets, as well as the more neutral and commercial-oriented Apple Daily. The Hong Kong newspapers include pro-government, pro-democracy, and more neutral professional newspapers. Five specific years (1977, 1987, 1997, 2007, and 20170 are analyzed and separated into two periods for comparative analysis (1977 and 1987 vs. 1997, 2007, and 2017).

The results show minimal differences among newspapers on China coverage in the U.S. While U.S. media coverage of China had become more negative over time, a finding consistent with our understanding of the changing U.S.-China relationship over the years, this trend exists in both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. In contrast, there are significant differences among newspapers in China coverage in Taiwan, especially in the second period when Taiwan’s political system became democratized and its media system exhibited a strong degree of political parallelism. China Times and United Daily News became less negative toward China over time, but the emergence of Liberty Times meant that there was no lack of negative coverage toward the mainland. The result is that, overall speaking, Taiwan newspaper coverage of China did not exhibit a significant shift in tone.

There are similar, significant differences among Hong Kong newspapers in their China coverage. Individual newspapers exhibited different kinds of changes over time, with Sing Tao Daily becoming less negative toward the mainland on political issues after the handover, whereas Ming Pao exhibited a higher degree of balance between positive and negative coverages during the post-handover period. Nevertheless, the publication of Apple Daily ensured the supply of negative coverage about the mainland. As a result, there was also no overall shift in tone in Hong Kong newspapers’ coverage of China before and after the handover. In other words, in both Hong Kong and Taiwan, changes in specific news organizations’ approach to China and the impact of emerging media outlets cancelled out each other, leading to apparent continuity in China coverage.

The analysis herein thus largely supports the theoretical argument that, in places where linkage politics is strong and the degree of media political parallelism is high, there could be significant between-organizations’ differences in foreign news coverage. This study points toward how foreign news coverage needs to be understood in relation to factors beyond elite-defined national interests. The findings also hint at the need for caution when sampling media outlets for longitudinal studies of how a country or society’s media cover a certain topic. Various theoretical and methodological implications of the findings are discussed in the concluding section.
2023/ 夏