Finance

Wenxue City Finance – The Western Media’s Role in Coverage of Wenxue City

Wenxue City Finance – The Western Media’s Role in Coverage of Wenxue City, While most articles written about Wenxue City have not been published in the state-run Chinese media, many are in the Beijing-friendly Western media. Of those, 16.4% come from state-run Chinese media. Meanwhile, the rest come from the publicly funded Western media, making up 75.6% of the authors. The Chinese state-run media have a relatively minor role. So what are we to make of all this coverage of Wenxue City?

Articles on Wenxue City mentioning the CCP or Xi Jinping

In a recent analysis, we found that 16.4% of finance articles mentioning Wenxue City had been written by Beijing-friendly or Chinese state-controlled media. Publicly-funded Western media, however, accounted for 75.6% of all articles. The authors of these stories have a much greater influence than previously thought. This is a significant shift.

Of the 94 finance articles that mentioned the CCP or Xi Jinping, just under half were unrelated to politics. Another half covered pop culture, while a few articles mentioned CCP or Xi Jinping in critical terms. The articles containing both sides of the issue had a sharp spike in the mid-year period. That spike, however, isn’t a signal of growing Chinese nationalism.

The most influential sources for Wenxue City finance articles include the Beijing-friendly Western media and Chinese state media. While these media outlets may have their own bias, their pro-CCP stance is not evident. The articles that did mention Xi Jinping or the CCP have been written by Western journalists, including state-run media and public-funded Western outlets.

Publicly funded Western media

A resurgence of public funding for Western media has raised concerns about their objectivity. The Western media are a product of the Western political system, and their coverage reflects this. While Western media are notorious for their partisanship, their coverage of international affairs often reveals a single-sided perspective. Western media have also become a source of stereotypes, and they are largely unqualified to question the objectivity of state-affiliated media in other countries.

In a survey in 2011, journalists from AJE, BBCWS, and CGTN discussed the benefits of funding from their state. This allowed them to travel to less-elite countries and report on less-popular stories. The journalists also said that state resources gave them more freedom than those of their commercially funded counterparts, who were constrained by advertising revenue and audience ratings. Publicly funded Western media also have access to state-funded research and sources, allowing them to make more critical, accurate reports than their commercial counterparts.

While commercial media revenues have declined precipitously over the last two decades, countries with robust public media systems maintained solid positions on the EIU’s democracy index. By 2016, the U.S. dropped from a “full democracy” to a “flawed democracy.” Since then, its score has been steadily declining, from 8.22 in 2006 to 7.96 in 2019. These findings may have prompted some of the critics to reconsider their assumptions about public media subsidies.

Chinese state media

The stories published on Wenxue City’s financial crisis are mostly propaganda from the Chinese government, as reported by Western and Beijing-friendly media. This is not surprising, given the Western media’s bias against the Chinese government. Approximately 16.4% of all articles are written by Western journalists, while the other 75.6% are written by state media. But this does not mean the Western media have no interest in the Wenxue City scandal.

Articles that do not have pro-CCP bias seem to be the exception, with a high proportion of articles mentioning CCP members and Xi Jinping. The articles are also pro-CCP, with an interview of Global Times editor Hu Xijin and a debate about whether the protesters in Hong Kong are “anti-China.” The articles are even newsworthy for people with no sympathy for the Chinese leadership.

Moreover, there are several other ways to gain information on Chinese politics. Overseas Chinese studies centers and overseas media provide some information, but it is difficult to verify the authenticity of such content. In addition to this, Chinese media should be verified. However, it is necessary to remember that overseas media are not official government sources, and therefore, caution must be used when reading them. Nonetheless, this report aims to collect first-hand information that is publicly available.

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