Watching the dragon: Global television news about China

Lars Willnat, Yunjuan Luo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


News about China has become ubiquitous, yet we know very little about how China is presented in the global media. This study presents a content analysis of television news coverage about China that was collected systematically in 15 nations and territories around the world in early 2008. The findings showed that only a small percentage of foreign television news focused on China. As expected, coverage of China was dominated by topics such as internal politics, foreign affairs, business, and the economy. Surprisingly little attention was paid to the cultural and social aspects of China's society. While most of the actors in the news about China came from politics and business, the study also found a significant number of actors who were regular Chinese citizens. The study concluded that foreign television news about China is insufficient and one-dimensional: more attention needs to be paid to the coverage of cultural and social issues in China.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-273
Number of pages19
JournalChinese Journal of Communication
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Foreign news
  • Public opinion
  • Television news

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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