How framing of nationally and locally sensitive issues varies? A content analysis of news from party and nonparty newspapers in China

Xianwen Kuang*, Rining Wei

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates how party and nonparty newspapers in China frame sensitive political issues differently, depending on their geographic relevance. Extant studies indicate that political control influences how news organizations present an issue. The assumption is that the framing of nationally sensitive issues is similar across Chinese news outlets, while the framing of locally sensitive issues diverges. An examination of the news frames used by six newspapers in Guangzhou in their coverage of a nationally sensitive issue and a locally sensitive issue confirms this assumption. In the coverage of the nationally sensitive issue, all newspapers use more leadership frames and factual information than responsibility, conflict and human interest frames. Contrastingly, the party newspapers use more leadership frames, whereas nonparty newspapers use more conflict frames in the reporting of the locally sensitive issue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1435-1451
Number of pages17
Issue number9-10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018


  • China
  • geographic relevance of news
  • news framing
  • party and nonparty newspapers
  • political control
  • sensitivity of news

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