CHINA MEDIA CENTRE, University of Westminster
Call for Papers
Creativity and Innovation in Chinese Media
London June 4-5
The last thirty years have seen a transformation of the Chinese media. They have moved from being solely the â€œthroat and tongue of the partyâ€ supported by state subsidies to a situation where the majority of their income is from advertising revenue, for which they must vigorously compete with each other. The need to gain and hold an audience are today central to the concerns of media managers, journalists and creative workers. At the same time, they still need to follow the party line and to carry positive messages about Chinaâ€™s development. Many observers have noted how these two tasks impose unique burdens on the media and oblige them to develop new strategies to report the news and to entertain the audience.
The change in the economic situation of the media, and the orientation on the preferences of consumers, has meant that Chinese media producers have had to find new forms of journalism and new kinds of programming that are attractive to the mass audience.
In television, despite the regulatory protection that CCTV still enjoys, it must face sharp competition in markets like Guangdong from provincial and city stations whose programming is much more attuned to local tastes and language. Nationally, provincial satellite channels, notably from Hunan, are in the forefront of innovation in entertainment programming. Similarly, Phoenix TV is introducing new ways of reporting the news and winning a substantial audience, particularly amongst the younger and elite audiences.
In the newspaper press there has been a series of new and innovative titles, which have much more sensational and personalised reporting than the old norms. Some journalists have reported on events and individuals that have had major repercussions for aspects of the legal situation. At the same time there has been an explosion of journalism devoted to different aspects of lifestyle and consumption, aimed squarely at the new middle class audience. In the broader printed press, a new generation of magazines targeting audiences like young women and, more recently, young men, have enjoyed substantial success in terms of circulation.
Social change, and in particular the rise of car ownership, has also led to a revival of radio. The notorious traffic jams of big Chinese cities have created what is literally a captive audience for the medium. So, too, increasing affluence and the spread of the internet has led to an explosion of computer gaming, both offline and online, that is attractive to many young people.
The sources of these new ideas are many and varied. Sometimes, as with TV dramas, there is the straightforward purchase and broadcasting of foreign shows, many originating from Korea, which have proved very popular with audiences. In entertainment programming, there have been notorious cases of unauthorised borrowings from abroad (Supergirl is the most famous example) but today there are more and more entirely legal purchases of foreign formats. In broadcast news, Phoenix uses presentational techniques developed by international broadcasters to deliver the same sort of news as CCTV in a more approachable format. In magazines, the model is one of close collaboration in joint ventures between Chinese publishers and big western publishers that have established Chinese equivalents of many of the most famous global fashion and lifestyle titles. These borrowings, however, are hardly ever simple transfers from one country to another: in almost all cases, Chinese importers modify the original to fit better with the preferences of their audience.
Increasingly, however, Chinese media are seeking to break free from imported models and to produce media content that is wholly original. They are following in the footsteps of producers in other countries who started off with a debt to more advanced media systems but have increasingly generated their own nationally-specific content. Some Chinese media organisations have plans to develop themselves into truly global players, to generate wholly original content, and to export their programmes, ideas and formats to other countries.
These innovations in the media are taking place at the same time as the much more general and very rapid social and cultural changes that are sweeping China. Millions of people flood into the cities from the countryside and millions of urban dwellers have seen their personal wealth and their cultural horizons transformed in the last www.essaywritingplace.com thirty years. Some welcome these cultural changes and celebrate the forms of media that are attractive to this new audience. They welcome the relative freedom and the influence of foreign ideas and values, seeing them as the building blocks of the new China. Others worry that the deluge of novelty threatens the traditional values of Chinese culture and seek to insulate the population from alien cultures. In the film industry, for example, some claim that the price of international success has been the adaptation of traditional Chinese themes and stories to fit western tastes. China will only succeed in exporting cultural products, they argue, if they are stripped of their unique Chinese characteristics.
We invite papers that look at any aspect of this complex process of change. Our interests include, but are not limited to:
- Joint deals between Chinese and overseas media companies
- Intellectual property rights and the Chinese media
- Adapting foreign models to Chinese conditions
- Originating wholly Chinese media artefacts
- Managing the process of change, creativity and innovation in the Chinese media
- Planning entry into the global market
- The nature of cultural change in contemporary China
- New freedoms and new constraints for Chinese media producers
- Chinese media and foreign capital
Send abstracts (250 words maximum) by 1st February to Guo Dawei: email@example.com