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  • The China Quarterly, Volume 202
  • June 2010, pp. 269-289

Who Believes Propaganda? Media Effects during the Anti-Japanese Protests in Beijing*


The Chinese media have undergone commercial liberalization during the reform era. Interviews with media practitioners reveal that media reform has brought about three different types of newspapers that differ with respect to their degree of commercial liberalization. Based on a natural experiment during the anti-Japanese protests in Beijing in 2005, this article shows that urban residents found more strongly commercialized newspapers more persuasive than less commercialized newspapers. Provided that the state can enforce press restrictions when needed, commercial liberalization promotes the ability of the state to influence public opinion through the means of the news media.

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, (: , )Y. Zhao Communication in China: Political Economy, Power, and Conflict LanhamRowman & Littlefield2008

X. Chen and T. Shi , “Media effects on political confidence and trust in the People's Republic of China in the post-Tiananmen period,” East Asia: An International Quarterly, Vol. 19, No. 3 (2001), pp. 84118

F.W. Houn , “Chinese communist control of the press,” Public Opinion Quarterly, No. 22 (1958–59), pp. 435–48

X. Xin , “A developing market in news: Xinhua News Agency and Chinese newspapers,” Media, Culture & Society, Vol. 28, No. 1 (2006), pp. 4566

J. Miller and J. Krosnick , “News media impact on the ingredients of presidential evaluations: politically knowledgeable citizens are guided by a trusted source,” American Journal of Political Science, Vol. 44, No. 2 (2000), pp. 301–15

A. Eagly , W. Wood and S. Chaiken , “Causal inferences about communicators and their effects on opinion change,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 36, No. 4 (1978), pp. 424–35

D. Frey , “Recent research on selective exposure to information,” Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Vol. 19 (1986), pp. 4180

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The China Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0305-7410
  • EISSN: 1468-2648
  • URL: /core/journals/china-quarterly
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