Information Control and Political Impression Management: A Dramaturgical Analysis of the Chinese Premier’s Press Conference

Yan Yi


This study takes a dramaturgical approach to explore the mode of political impression management as a result of the interactions between the Chinese government and journalists at the Chinese Premier’s Press Conference (CPPC) over the past 20 years. It argues that an overall script for every role is planned at the backstage to avoid uncertainty and help set up what might be performed and expected on the front stage. Notwithstanding, some flexible arrangements at the front are also specifically designed to deal with accidents. This art of impression management by the Chinese government means the received knowledge generated by the traditional propaganda model that is often linked to China’s internal and external behaviors needs to be revisited. This study offers longitudinal evidence to rethink how and why the Chinese government manages public information and its impression at the international level.


political impression management, symbolic interaction, dramaturgy, press conference, China

Full Text: