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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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Acknowledgment

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The author would like to thank colleagues and friends who supported in different ways in the process of conducting this research and the production of this monograph. Special gratitude goes to respectable Associate Professor Peter C. Pugsley and Associate Professor Xianlin Song, who are my mentors guiding me patiently and effectively to conduct research in the western academic discourse.

Special gratitude is due to colleagues in the School of Journalism and Communication at Lanzhou University for the considerate supports. Thanks go to scholars in the Discipline of Media, School of Humanities, the University of Adelaide for the valuable comments to my work. I thank my families for the continuous emotional encouragement. I am grateful to Dr. Kate Cadman, Dr. Baohui Xie, Dr. William Wang, Dr. John Walsh, Professor Richard Russell, Ms. Sandy McConachy, Ms. Iris Liu, Dr. Minghua Wu, Dr. Bei Guo, Dr. Cheng Hu, Ms. Camille Zhang, for the help. Sincere thanks go to Ms. Johanna Lüder and Ms. Marina Essig, editor and production manager at Peter Lang, for the patient and considerate support making this monograph finally came to fruition.

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