Shijin ZHAO

Shijin ZHAO

Participant in 2015
Work history Research and Teaching assistant at University of Macau from September 2011 to May 2013.
Study history Beijing Normal University, Communication Studies , 2007 Bachelor of Arts

University of Macau, Communication and New Media, 2013 Master of Arts

Technical University of Dortmund, Journalism Studies, PHD candidate, continued

Phd Projects


China’s public diplomacy through media strategy in Africa: how to cultivate a positive national image by exerting inter-media agenda setting effect on African reportage about China’s engagement in Africa

China is becoming a prominent player on the African continent. China’s engagement in Africa has elicited much scholarly and journalistic attention. However, China’s involvement is far from neutral and triggers intensive controversy. Whether China is a foe or friend, imperialist or ally and what political implications mean for some authoritarian African countries is facilitated to discuss by media around the world. In order to disseminate a positive image of China, broadcast a mutual beneficial relationship and advance new ways of looking at Africa, the Chinese government has decided to employ mediated public diplomacy to win hearts and minds on the continent, which is achieved through China’s noticeable presence in African media sphere. Several state-owned Chinese media have established branches in Africa. Rely on abundant fund and firm support from the government, Chinese media organizations devote themselves to becoming the primary information source providers of the African media. Many scholars concern that the news produced by China are not trustworthy and Chinese media expansion in Africa will eventually encroach the hard-earned media freedom of African countries.
Inter-media agenda setting is utilized to examine the impact of Chinese media on African media. Agenda setting has two levels. The first-level of agenda setting is talking about the transfer of issues and objects, which emphasizes media’s role in telling the audiences “what to think about” and the second-level of agenda setting is the transfer of numerous attributes, which underlines media’s function of telling the audiences” how to think about” ( McCombs & Shaw, 1993). In March 2013, China’s President Xi made an official visit to three African countries including Tanzania, South Africa and the Republic of Congo. This visit offers a great opportunity to examine the effectiveness of China ‘s mediated public diplomacy. To be more specific, in this study, the purpose is to examine the transfer of salience of issues and attributes between Xinhua News Agency African branch and African newspapers. The following third questions are studied. First, what is the strategy used by China to engage in African media space? Second, is there any first-level of agenda building effect by the Xinhua news agency reports on the Tanzanian and South African news media? Third, is there any second-level of agenda building effect by the Xinhua news agency reports on the Tanzanian and South African news media? Quantitative content analysis is utilized. In each African country, an elite newspaper and a tabloid newspaper are selected to collect news articles. Three time periods are chosen. Two cross-lagged correlation analyses are performed. In the coding process, three variables: issue, affective and substantive attributes are coded. Cross-lagged correlations and the Rozelle-Campbell baseline are chosen in this study as statistical analysis model.
Key words: inter-media agenda setting, mediated public diplomacy

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