Remapping or Remapped – A workshop on Chinese Global Media 15/12/2015
The goal of the proposed workshop is to explore and discuss the political economy and the intercultural and transnational narratives of Chinese media from a global perspective. Consequently, the workshop aims to explore some issues at the intersections of the following fields:
- Narratives and arguments related to the global strategies of Chinese media companies, focusing on economic (co-production and competition with Western media corporations) and cultural perspectives (promotion of Chinese discourse and image);
- The way Chinese people and institutions are perceived by foreign governments, companies and, more specifically, by Western media;
- Global media and soft power discourses that guide Chinese media policy, especially in the movie industry - for example, the attempt to counteract Hollywood’s dominant position in the market through forms of cooperation between the EU and China
This workshop fulfills at least three potential needs at four different levels.
From an academic perspective, this workshop aims to merge scientific analysis and literature from different, often unrelated fields, such as global media studies, the political economy of communication, media economics and intercultural communication. Furthermore, the workshop will bring together a group of international leading scholars from mainland China, Europe and the U.S., who will all focus on the Chinese media system with national and global perspectives. They will provide a multidisciplinary perspective on the globalization of Chinese media, and this perspective may inspire further innovative and original research. A third and final academic need is more ambitious: to provide scientific analysis to Swiss and Chinese policy makers to establish a concrete dialogue between academia and politics.
From a media industry perspective, this symposium will benefit from the presence of a prominent Chinese media manager from China Radio International, the People’s Republic of China’s state owned radio broadcasting system. China Radio International is considered the most comprehensive foreign service in Asia. The participation of China Radio International (CRI) clearly confirms industry support and interest in the symposium. The role of CRI will also provide an extra academic perspective which will enrich the academic discussion.
From a Chinese perspective, this workshop aims to analyze and understand the efficacy of injecting Chinese media into foreign markets and the construction of a cultural image from a foreign perspective. An interesting case study is the Chinese (and European) attempt to counteract Hollywood’s dominant position in the market through cooperation between the EU and China.
From a Swiss perspective, this workshop is needed to understand the booming Chinese economy (and media are part of this process) around the world. China is now a rising player in global media industries, and Switzerland needs to better understand this trend. In this respect, Lugano, the city where the only Swiss Faculty of Communication Sciences and a specific China Media Observatory are both located, seems to be the natural site for this workshop. The publication of an academic report will represent an advice for Chinese, Swiss and European government and their future media policies. Last but not least, following the path of the Sino-Swiss agreements this symposium will enhance the relationships between China and Switzerland also at the academic level.
This workshop may produce academic benefits, but it will also benefit from a broader perspective. Academically, the summit will be able to advise Chinese and international governments on the development of Chinese global media strategies and the construction of a global Chinese image. This can be done through two sets of documents: scientific publications addressed to the academic community and a report specifically intended for decision makers.
The workshop will also be beneficial for the Chinese government because it will receive advice and recommendations from an independent, high quality, international and neutral board of scholars. In other words, these scholars’ reflections could be used to change, strengthen and improve media politics at the national and international level.
Finally, there are relevant benefits for Switzerland and Lugano, in particular, for three other reasons. First, beginning and establishing a long-term discussion on Chinese media in Switzerland would make the country the preferred place to produce such documents from a neutral perspective. The presence of a representative of China Radio International, as mentioned above, could be relevant, even from this point of view, and meetings with local and national media representatives will be encouraged.
Second, holding this workshop in Switzerland would strengthen the image of Switzerland in the eyes of Chinese media companies and the Chinese government in line with the Sino-Swiss Free Trade Agreement.
Third, and with a particularly local benefit, establishing an institutional cooperation between the city government of Lugano and the municipality of Beijing could also intensify the presence of Chinese scholars in Lugano.
This workshop will take place over two days: the 15th and 16th of December. It is structured into two different sessions:
The first day (15th December) will be devoted to the presentations of the invited speakers, who will focus on the main questions and themes provided by the scientific committee;
- Morning (first half) Panel on political economy (Prof. Richeri and Prof. Jin Jiabin)
- Morning (second half) Panel on political communication (Prof. Price and Prof. Ronning)
- Afternoon Panel on intercultural communication (Prof. Jiang Fei, Prof. Hollihan, Dr. Hu Bangsheng)
On the second day (16th December) , a discussion among the invited speakers (and open to the public) will take place. The discussion will be recorded in order to support the publication of a report addressed to policymakers and an edited book/journal special issue on the discussed topics.
One aim of the organizing committee (CMO and CASS) is to repeat this workshop every year, with different top scholars and different themes.