Rethinking the mass propaganda model: Evidence from the Chinese regional press

Tsan-Kuo Chang, Chin Hsien Chen, Guo Qiang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


The purpose of this paper is to call for broader conceptual and more sophistocated methodological approaches to the study of the press in Communist systems, especially after the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Through an empirical analysis of the world view of the Chinese regional press, the assumptions behind the conventional mass propaganda model were called into question and reexamined. Using the data collected from five Chinese regional newspapers before and after the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, this paper argues that the earlier mass propaganda and persuasion model cannot adequately address the fundamental changes in the structure and processes of the contemporary Chinese press as a result of China's domestic reform movement and its sustained opening to the West. The data also show that the failure to differentiate between two different concepts - foreign news vs. foreign policy news - in early studies could result in misleading interpretation and conclusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-195
Number of pages23
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1993

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