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Volume 52 Issue 10
November 2020
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Citation: Dan HUANG. Newspaper and Newspaper Offices: Two Perspectives to Examine the History of Chinese Newspapers and Periodicals[J]. Academic Monthly, 2020, 52(10): 165-178. shu

Newspaper and Newspaper Offices: Two Perspectives to Examine the History of Chinese Newspapers and Periodicals

  • Taking Ge Gongzhen and Liang Qichao as examples, this study unravels and compares “newspaper” and “newspaper offices” as distinct historical perspectives. Thereby, it posits that the “newspaper” as conceived by Ge Gongzhen draws inspiration directly from the archetype of professional newspapers. While underscoring the content and formal characteristics of newspapers, Ge de-contextualized newspapers historically, reducing it into a ready-made standard object set in advance. By so doing, Ge treated the history of newspapers as a continuous process of evoluationtowarrds such standards. In contrast, Liang Qichao conceived “newspaper offices” as part of the state organism, which aid the state to “remove obstructions and promote fluent interaction”. Within this structural-functional framework, the history of newspapers becomes a process for practitioners to fulfil their mission to “serve the national interest”. In conclusion, this paper advocates that scholars re-comprehend newspaper’s role of “removing obstructions and promoting fluent interaction” on the footing of human communication. Using media’s “promotion of fluent interaction” as a perspective, and adopting mediated practice as an approach, scholars should set eyes on the connections and transformations made possible by media dielectric, and render the history of newspapers a history of the mode of constitutive, confrontational, encountering and transformative relations enabled by newspapers between humans, things and society.
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        Newspaper and Newspaper Offices: Two Perspectives to Examine the History of Chinese Newspapers and Periodicals

        Abstract: Taking Ge Gongzhen and Liang Qichao as examples, this study unravels and compares “newspaper” and “newspaper offices” as distinct historical perspectives. Thereby, it posits that the “newspaper” as conceived by Ge Gongzhen draws inspiration directly from the archetype of professional newspapers. While underscoring the content and formal characteristics of newspapers, Ge de-contextualized newspapers historically, reducing it into a ready-made standard object set in advance. By so doing, Ge treated the history of newspapers as a continuous process of evoluationtowarrds such standards. In contrast, Liang Qichao conceived “newspaper offices” as part of the state organism, which aid the state to “remove obstructions and promote fluent interaction”. Within this structural-functional framework, the history of newspapers becomes a process for practitioners to fulfil their mission to “serve the national interest”. In conclusion, this paper advocates that scholars re-comprehend newspaper’s role of “removing obstructions and promoting fluent interaction” on the footing of human communication. Using media’s “promotion of fluent interaction” as a perspective, and adopting mediated practice as an approach, scholars should set eyes on the connections and transformations made possible by media dielectric, and render the history of newspapers a history of the mode of constitutive, confrontational, encountering and transformative relations enabled by newspapers between humans, things and society.

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