Foreign News as Marketable Power Display: Reporting Foreign Disasters by the Chinese Local Media

Haiyan Wang, Francis L. F. Lee, Bess Y. Wang


As Western media is cutting back on expenditures for foreign news reporting, the news organizations in China, at both the national and local levels, have been investing more resources into international news in recent years. This article provides a critical assessment of foreign news reporting by the local Chinese media. Using the 2011 Japanese earthquake as an entry point, the article analyzes the motivations and practices of foreign news reporting at two major Guangzhou newspapers. This analysis illustrates how China’s desire to project its “soft power,” coupled with the local media’s political and economic imperatives, drove the development of a “parachute” model of foreign news reporting and led to the conception of the foreign news as a marketable power display.

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