Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Communication and Information

Major Professor

Catherine A. Luther

Committee Members

Dorothy A. Bowles, Sally J. McMillan, Ramon V. Leon


This study introduced the framing theory, Shoemaker and Reese’s hierarchical model, and Hofstede’s cultural dimensions into a cross-cultural comparative analysis of news coverage of the Internet in China from 2000 to 2004 in selected newspapers in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Significant differences were found to exist across the societies in both the salience of Internet-related issues and the usage of generic news frames. The issue of Internet diffusion and use was most frequently mentioned in the newspapers from China, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. The U.S. newspapers paid most attention to the issue of Internet censorship and regulations; whereas the issue of e-commerce and Internet business most frequently appeared in the newspapers from Hong Kong. In terms of generic news frames, the newspapers from China were significantly more likely to use the human interest, morality and leadership frames. The newspapers from Hong Kong mainly relied on the factual and economic consequences frames to report the Internet in mainland China. The U.S. and U.K. newspapers were distinct for their highly frequent usage of the conflict frame.

This study also investigated how much variations in media framing could be explained by such national-level factors as freedom status and cultural dimensions across societies. Logistic regression models indicated that the patterns of influence varied across the societies with different types of news frames and their associations with different types of Internet-related issues. The cultural dimension of long-/short-term orientation was found to be a general factor influencing the presence of different types of news frames.

In addition, a literature review of the changing Chinese media suggests that the Chinese press has become increasingly diversified in both structure and function. Therefore, another goal of the study was to test the influence of extramedia-level factors within a society by examining whether the framing of the Internet in the leading Party organ newspaper, the People’s Daily, would differ from the Beijing Youth Daily, a local newspaper with national influence and more financial and operational autonomy. They differed from each other in presenting the politically sensitive issue, Internet censorship and regulations.

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