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Title: 'The government paid us . We just did the job' : neoliberal journalism, professionalism and television journalists in 21st century Taiwan
Authors: Lin, Yu-Chih
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: In the early 21st century, the Government in Taiwan was criticised for interfering with journalism via governmental product placement. In response, the government proposed a new relationship to work with journalism, and that is the government uses third parties, such as PR companies or media buyers to promote policies on the news media. Meanwhile, journalism also proposed a new approach, and that is news is not for individual sale but sold in a package with advertisements. It is argued that the power relation between the government and journalism has influenced by governmental paid-for news production. Using Foucault’s notion of governmentality, this argues that this emerging relationship is indicative of a new form of journalism: neoliberal journalism. In order to explore the idea of neoliberal journalism, this thesis investigates the relationship between the government and journalism with regard to the practice of governmental paid-for news in Taiwan. Semi-structured interviews and documentary data collections were adopted as research methods. 29 television journalists were interviewed and two governmental documents were analysed. Grounded theory, thematic analysis and narrative analysis were drawn on as analytical approaches. The research identified four key areas. First, it is argued that the government uses governmental paid-for news and transitions of regulations to extend its power to influence journalism. Second, the professional autonomy of journalism is relatively limited. Third, a public service ethos might not be fulfilled; instead, the interests of the government and business might be prioritised. Fourth, the role of the fourth estate is compromised and the resistance of journalists is restricted as a result of market-oriented rationality. The thesis concludes by suggesting that neoliberal journalism is a new characteristic of journalism refers to ‘relatively limited’ autonomy, ‘unfulfilled’ public service, the ‘compromised’ fourth estate, ‘restricted’ resistance of journalists, and a ‘blurred’ line between news, advertisements and PR. It is suggested that reform movements are expected to challenge neoliberal journalism in the future.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Arts and Cultures

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