How China’s Media Are Researched in Japan?

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 15:45
Oral Presentation
Ai SONG, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan
As an important neighbor country and a rising power, China has been a main research object for area studies researcher in Japan. As a part of social process, China's media communication came up for debate in Japanese China research.

By detected 38 academic articles on 6 main Japanese journals on mass communication or China area studies, from 2000 to 2017, I argue most of such studies took either the perspective of communication technology as agency of social change, or the perspective of social context as filter, in "the technology-context scheme". When the concept of "power" is mentioned in such research, it is about either the government's political power of censorship, or technological empowerment for the people. That means China's media is seen as either object or subject of political "power".

Meanwhile, according to Japanese researcher of political communication, OISHI yutaka, the relationship between media and power can be categorized into 4 types. The first of them is that media could either be interfered by political power or play a role of the fourth estate, which is frequently mentioned in China's media research. The second type is that media do possess a power of selecting issues from thousands of them to report. The third type means that media reporting can evoke public opinions or "power up" one kind of public opinion. And the last type is that media can construct collective memories and hold the power of defining news issues by framing. The last 3 types of relationship between media and power are almost left unmentioned in China's media research in Japan.

This situation is a consequence of the lack of perspective of journalism and mass communication and the overweighting of China's politics analysis in China's media research in Japan.