Distinguished and prejudices: analysis of foreign media coverage of youth in mainland China and Hong Kong


Purpose The image of youth is one important dimensions of national image. At present, the research on the foreign media construction of the image of young people in mainland China and Hong Kong is basically blank. The purpose of this study aims to systematically analyze and compare the image construction of mainland China and Hong Kong youth in foreign media news reports , and construct an empirical foundation for further explosion of the influence of foreign media news frame on the international image of Chinese youth.

Design: This study selected the world's three major news agencies, the Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France Presse, and 14 foreign English mainstream media as analyze objects. Four construct weeks for each year, the authors search news report on mainland China youth and Hong Kong youth were used to search in Factiva database from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2018. and a total of 103 news reports were collected as sample(Including 72 reports on 'mainland youth' and 31 reports on 'Hong Kong youth'.). Two coders coded these new reports according to conflict, attribution, human interest, negative and positive frames coding schemes independent (confidence interval between coders was 0.70 to 1, with an average reliability of 0.91).

FindingsResults show that foreign media news basically treat mainland China youth and Hong Kong youth as two separate groups through utilizing differential news topics and frames (χ2 =38.40, df = 3,p <.001). New report on Hong Kong youth focus on political issues, while their coverage on mainland China youth is more diversified. News on Hong Kong youth utilized more conflict frame (M=.22, SD =.12)and responsibility frame (M=.13, SD =.11)than that on mainland China youth. {conflict frame (M=.06, SD=.09), t (46) = -6.89, p <.001, attribution framework (M=.07, SD=.10), t (101) = -2.47, p <.05}. Foreign media use significantly more negative frame (M=.51,SD=.35)than positive frame{(M=.23,SD=32),t(102)=5.18, p <.001) to report mainland China and Hong Kong youth. The US and Singapore media more focus on mainland China youth, while UK media more focus on Hong Kong youth. Findings further confirm that news production is influenced by historical and political background, geopolitics of media(χ2 = 25.33,df = 11, p =.008).

. Practical implications: As the epitome of a society and the representative of the future, the shaping of the news image of the youth group will affect the impression of the people of other countries and even the international evaluation of a country and the judgment of its future development. Through a systematic comparative analysis of foreign media's reporting framework and text contents on Chinese mainland youth and Hong Kong youth, this paper can provide empirical evidence for developing further strategies to improve the image of Chinese youth in international communication.