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Media in China: Constructing National Resistance in Natural Disaster Representations

Weimin Zhang

This book examines how media can be used in facilitating crisis control following natural disasters. Set in the context of the contemporary Chinese nationalistic culture this book dissects how Chinese media enhances disaster relief by constructing the meaning of it. It takes a historical overview of the negotiations between discursive power and media coverage of natural disasters in Chinese media. It then conducts a case study of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake to analyze how Chinese media enhance crisis control in engaging with contemporary Chinese nationalism. In examining the mediated disaster relief closely relevant to this study within a global context this book briefly analyzes the Australian media’s representation of the 2013 Tasmanian Bushfire. In a penetrating investigation of the research question a systematic theoretic framework is structured consisting of the theories of representation, discourse and power, cultural identity, media framing and narratives.

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Chapter Four Chinese Media Representation of the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake


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Chapter Four

Chinese Media Representation of the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake


Following the account of media coverage of natural disasters in the Chinese social and historical context in the preceding chapter, Chapter Four will conduct an in-depth analysis of this discourse, drawing from media coverage of the Wenchuan earthquake as an example. The media chosen for analysis in this chapter includes the Sichuan Daily, Southern Weekly and People Net. Some influential news reports and commentaries from other media such as Guangming Daily and Xinhua Net, are included as complementary evidence for a comprehensive analysis. After examining the special column designs by these media in constructing their accounts, the case study focuses on clusters of representations in news texts.

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