Article in China Daily 2012 April 20 about the launch

20 April 2012


Here is a link to the article about the launch of China's global media image in China Daily the 20th April 2012. LINK

PPT from launch 18 april & group photo

19 April 2012

Here is a link to the PPT from the launch (PDF 5.3mb).

IMAGElaunch2 BACK: 1. Jing FU (Reporter), China Daily 2. Mao Xi (Researcher), Ghent University 3. Wolfgang PAPE (Policy Officer), European Commission 4. Qing CAO (Dr), Liverpool john moores university 5. Laragh Widdess (Parliamentary Assistant), European parliament 6. Binbin WANG (Manager-Communications), Oxfam Hong Kong

FRONT: 1. Alex KIRBY (Journalist), Own consultant, earlier BBC 2. Baowei ZHENG (Professor) Research Center of Journalism and Social Development at Renmin University 3. Dennis Pamlin (CEO/Founder), 21st Century Frontier

Global media covers portray China as hostile, the world needs dialogue

18 April 2012

Global media covers portray China as hostile, the world needs dialogue

China’s changing role in the world is one of the most interesting phenomena today. Many have called the 21st Century the “China century” and regardless of what aspects of society you are interested in: scientific, cultural, ethical, economic, industrial, environmental, etc. China will play an important role.

In many areas humanity will be faced with difficult choices and often there will be disagreement. What is clear regardless of what the different opinions are is that dialogue is crucial. For a good dialogue regarding global challenges it is crucial to assess what available resources for action, and what the historic responsibility for the problems today, different countries have..

To support global dialogue an international initiative to explore how China is portrayed in global media is launched today. As a part of this launch a paper about how China is portrayed based on 100 covers of leading global magazines, such as The Economist, TIME, Newsweek and Der Spiegel is presented.

The main result of this paper is striking, almost half of the global media covers portray China as hostile towards dialogue and only six percent portray China as very open to dialogue.

Other findings include:

  1. Of the 100 covers analyzed 44% portray China as “hostile”, 16% portray China as “not open to dialogue”. 19% portray China as “neutral”. Finally, 16% portray China as “open to dialogue” and only 6% portray China as “very open to dialogue”.

  2. Two different kinds of dragons are used to symbolize China. The western dragon is almost always used to portray China as hostile/aggressive, but the Chinese dragon, the Lóng, is often used to portray China in a neutral way.

  3. Of the covers with a power relation China is portrayed as the stronger in relation to the other country in 57%, equal in 27% and in 16% the other country is portrayed as stronger.
    在描述中国与他国的力量对比关系中,有57%的杂志封面图片将中国描绘成比其他国家加更强势, 27%双方“力量对等”,16%将中国描绘成比其他国家更加弱势。

The current way of portraying China as hostile to dialogue could present a challenge in the future the current situation if it is not addressed. The good news is that the research indicates that the reason for portraying China as hostile to a large extent is based on two factors, lack of knowledge regarding China and lack of focus on Chinese readers. As Chinese readers of global magazine’s are already increasing rapidly and knowledge is available the current situation can be seen as a window of opportunity for constructive meetings and discussions before frustrations becomes a problem.

Some of the ideas for further research that we hope can be discussed include: 为进一步研究,我们希望可以继续讨论以下一些构想:

  1. To Promote Communication and Dialogue A more systematic and comprehensive exchange programmed could be encouraged where journalist and media students from China work abroad for a while and vice versa in order to promote communication between experts in media. International meetings for journalist could also spend more time discussing how emerging countries, like China, are portrayed and how dialogue can be encouraged where relevant.

  2. To Advocate Positive Dialogue
    There is a tendency to focus more on problems and conflict than opportunities and dialogue in many cases. To encourage interesting articles, including illustrations, that portray dialogue and collaboration a global competition could be initiated by leading media stakeholders. Of particular interest would be to show that dialogue is possible even when there is a significant disagreement as it is in such situation when dialogue is as most important.

  3. To Differentiate Lóng and Western Dragon This is the year of the dragon and there is a unique opportunity to explore the possibility to help more people distinguish between the western – fire breathing and destructive – dragon and the Chinese Lóng. The Chinese dragon, the Lóng, brings luck and as we need dialogue maybe if we are lucky the Lóng could become a symbol for collaboration around important issues in the 21st century.

Just to be clear. We are not suggesting that difficult issues should not be discussed and that there should not be hard criticism, on the contrary. A dialogue perspective encourage both strong criticism and disagreement, it should not be seen as an attempt to avoid difficult discussions where conflicting perspectives exist. On the contrary, we highlight the need for a dialogue perspective because solving important challenges, including those where disagreement exists, require an open exchange of ideas.

To facilitate a dialogue we have also launched a webpage with focus on how China is portrayed in relation to dialogue on global media covers. This page allows anyone to view and rate different covers in order to encourage interaction and an open dialogue.

In the year of the dragon we have the opportunity to establish a culture of dialogue in order to better address the challenges ahead of us, hopefully many people around the world will take this opportunity. 在这个中国农历龙年,我们借此契机,也希望世界各地的人将以此为契机,构建一次文化对话,以更好地应对未来的挑战。

We look forward to an interesting dialogue.

The authors are:
Zheng Baowei (郑保卫), Professor,
Research Center of Journalism and Social Development at Renmin university
Dennis Pamlin, CEO/Founder
21st Century Frontiers
Dennis Pamlin,21世纪新前线创始人,CEO

The Economist is making 2012 the year of China

29 January 2012

The 24th of January the Economist launched the competition to name the new China blog and the 28th January- 3rd February issue launched the new weekly section on China. This will be interesting as the first cover image reflect complexity.


Image updated 7th of February

Workshop at Renmin University to establish work plan and expert panel

07 January 2012

The 4-6th of January a workshop at the Research Center of Journalism and Social Development at Renmin University was held to establish work plan and expert panel for the project “China’s Global media image”.

The following where the agreed deliverables for 2012:

  1. Template to analyze cover assessments
  2. 100 assessments of cover images (Quantitative and qualitative)
  3. Texts about common images representing China
  4. Letter to key media with questions and invitation for input
  5. Paper: phase one cover images assessments
  6. 2-3 Workshops to discuss the paper analyzing the covers images
  7. In-depth assessment of 25 cover images with texts + 25 stories linked to the front page on magazine/newspapers
  8. Selection of areas of special focus for the stories (e.g. climate, job creation, security policy and technology development)
  9. Report: phase two China’s global media image


From left to right
Dr. ZHONG Xin (钟新), School of Journalism and Communication, Renmin University
WANG Binbin (王彬彬), Media officer, Oxfam Hong Kong
Professor ZHENG Baowei (郑保卫), Research Center of Journalism and Social Development, Renmin University
Dennis Pamlin, Founder and CEO, 21st Century Frontiers, Coordinator China's Global Media Image
Dr. ZHAO Yonghua(赵永华), School of Journalism and Communication, Renmin University
ZHAO Lijun (赵丽君), Panel Coordinator for China's Global Media Image
FU Jing (付敬), Chief Correspondent in Brussels, China Daily