ARTICLE: Why stereotypes of China persist

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The perpetuation of stereotypes of China and the Chinese in Western media is the result of many reasons, writes Jeanne Boden, of KU Leuven. The author sketches out the history of mutual misrepresentation between China and the West, and presents six levels of distortions.

The author recognizes the following sources of stereotyping: news selection, news value and presentation, language, the people reporting, dissident voices and self-censorship. For example, the lack of lingual faculties presents Western journalists with a limited number of translated sources, some of which may have been altered in translation. Many misunderstandings also result from the different cultural contexts, the understanding of which would be crucial in avoiding stereotyping.

The article Mass media: Playground of stereotyping was published by the journal International Communication Gazette. It is available online (abstract free).

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