A study of Beijing‘s competitive advantage as an emergent media capital

Huang, Angela Lin (2012) A study of Beijing‘s competitive advantage as an emergent media capital. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

The development of creative industries has been connected to urban development since the end of the 20th century. However, the causality of why creative industries always cluster and develop in certain cities hasn‘t been adequately demonstrated, especially as to how various resources grow, interact and nurture the creative capacity of the locality. Therefore it is vital to observe how the local institutional environment nurtures creative industries and how creative industries consequently change the environment in order to better address the connection between creative industries and localities.

In Beijing, the relocation of CCTV, BTV and Phoenix to Chaoyang District raises the possibility of a new era for Chinese media, one in which the stodginess of propaganda content will give way to exciting new forms and genres. The mixing of media companies in an open commercial environment (away from the political power district of Xicheng) holds the promise of more freedom of expression and, ultimately, to a =media capital‘ (Curtin, 2003). These are the dreams of many media practitioners in Beijing. But just how realistic are their expectations? This study adopts the concept of =media capital‘ to demonstrate how participants, including state-media organisations, private media companies and international media conglomerates, are seeking out space and networks to survive in Beijing. Drawing on policy analysis, interviews and case studies, this study illustrates how different agents meet, confront and adapt in Beijing. This study identifies factors responsible for the media industries clustering in China, and argues that Beijing is very likely to be the next Chinese media capital, after enough accumulation and development, although as a lower tier version compared to other media capitals in the world. This study contributes to Curtin‘s =media capital‘ concept, develops his interpretation on the relationship of media industries and the government, and suggests that the influence over the government of media companies and professionals should be acknowledged. Therefore, empirically, this study assists media practitioners in understanding how the Chinese government perceives media industries and, consequently, how media industries are operated in China. The study also reveals that despite the government‘s aspirations, China‘s media industries are still greatly constrained by institutional obstacles. Hence Beijing really needs to speed up its pace on the path of media reform, abandon the old mindset and create more room for creativity. Policy-makers in China should keep in mind that the only choice left to them is to further the reform.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 57974
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Cunningham, Stuart D., Keane, Michael A., & Flew, Terry
Keywords: media capital, media industries, media market, media cluster, media policy, China, Beijing, institution
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 08 Mar 2013 00:17
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2015 10:47

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