What: please describe how you plan to carry out your research project. Why: This assignment is meant to prepare you to gather data for your research project. You will be able to use this assignment in writing your final research paper. How: Main Instructions: it has two parts Part 1: Start by stating the topic of the research project.Follow with a research question you plan to answer. ( include a research question related to the research topic) Address all the bullet points listed here:Part 2: You should look and for one or two newspaper published abroad and compare it with topic covered and state (what was the similar? What was different in the topics they covered?) Please name the newspapers you are going to look at. This requires looking up the newspapers online and checking if those newspapers actually have any stories about Expo2020.If they do have news stories about Expo2020, please include the number of those news articles. Include a description of the participant and/or observation(s) characteristics (including eligibility and exclusion criteria and major demographic and/or descriptive characteristics.)Explain how sample size was determined and what sampling procedures were used for selecting participants and/or observations.Explain what was the intended sample size and the actual sample size if different from intended.Explain the type of research instrument and/or procedure used, how was it used and in what setting/location.Explain how ethical standards were met.
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“CHINA GOING OUT” OR
“THE WORLD GOING IN”?
THE SHANGHAI WORLD EXPO
2010 IN THE SWEDISH MEDIA GORAN SVENSSON
Public diplomacy, nation branding and soft power are the
theoretical notions used in this analysis of the Shanghai
Expo 2010 and its reception in the Svi/edish media. This article studies the full coverage during 2010 of the Expo in the
four main Sv/edish dailies. First, a general overview of the
reports is presented and then a focused analysis of how the
media texts deal with (a) reasons for arranging/participating (b) representation of China/Sweden (c) reporting about
outcomes of the Expo and (d) reporting on the international
exhibition phenomena.The major conclusion of the study is
that Expo 2010 contributed to China’s”going global'”strategy in a specific way; rather than being used as a vehicle for
China “going out'” in the world, it became a vehicle for Sweden, and the world, “going in” to China. Another observation
discussed is that the international exhibition form was used
to de-mediate interactions and relations, offering situated
meetings in a unique event context as a node for further
Goran Svensson is Lecturer
in the Department of
Informatics and Media at
Uppsala University; e-mail:
The 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing helped to communicate images of a transforming China to the world. The world media reported from the games in great
detail and also covered the preparation for this global event, including polifical
protest and disturbances of the Torch Relay (Qing and Richeri 2010). The games
also helped to catalyse a new approach to international commtmication in China,
where huge investments in the production and distribution of news, television
and radio through botb analogue and digital platforms assured a Chinese media
presence on the global media scene (Brownell 2013). This policy change was most
evident in 2009, when 45 billion Yuan was allocated to develop (¿hiñese state media
and international news (Zhao 2013).
In the same year, Shanghai and China were preparing for a second global event.
Expo 2010 in Shanghai. With the participation of 190 countries this exhibition
attracted 73 million visitors during its six months of operation (SOU 2011). The
expo grounds, with its pavilions and activities, became yet another “ephemeral
vista” (Greenhalgh 1988) where a world of flaneurs could stroll, meet and talk,
being sublimely impressed (Nye 1994) by the stunning feats of mankind assembled
and condensed in this enclosed time-space. The World Expo in Shanghai 2010 is
an example of a specific social and cultural form of communication – the general
intemational exhibition (Rydell 1984; Findling and Pelle 1990; Allwood 2001).
From the Crystal Palace exhibition of 1851 and up to Shanghai 2010, this form has
become insfitutionalised in a specific way and since 1928 has been formalised under
the Bureau International des Expositions, which registers and thereby consecrates
this kind of event.^ Economic, political, cultural and social interests are blurred in
these events as states, companies, civic organisations and individuals participate
in the event with mixed and sometimes conflicting motives. How the interests of
the arranging country and the participating cotmtries, and their representatives,
are articulated is a main issue in these events. Being an event botmd to a specific
place and time, this form of communication and the reception of the exhibition are
dependent on the combined experience of visitors on the spot and the intemational
and global mediation of the event.
Expo 2010 was an important stage in the communication of images of China to
the world. This article addresses the representation and reception of the Shanghai
Expo 2010 in Sweden, and the analysis links questions about the form and role of
public diplomacy, nation branding and soft power to the world exhibition as a site
and form of communication and interaction. The main result presented is that Expo
2010 was not a way for China to become more present and visible in the world
through the mediation of the event. Instead, it was the participating countries, in
our case Sweden, which were in focus in the media reports. The Shanghai Expo
2010 was, in this sense, not about China “going out” in the world but about the
world “going in” to China. It is also claimed that the Shanghai Expo 2010 was not
a new way of appropriating the intemational expo form but rather the reverse. The
event served to de-mediate the new conditions of global communication, politics
and commerce by refocusing attention on the experience of being there and on the
capacity to open up China for new intemational relations and contacts.
The New Public Diplomacy, Nation Branding, Soft
Power and the International Exhibition
Public diplomacy is the term most often used for analysing how states communicate with publics in the intemational arena (Snow and Taylor 2009) and the new
public diplomacy is a term used to describe the new conditions facing intemational
relations dealing with new actors in intemational and glohal policy processes, new
communication conditions and the geopolitical situation post 9/11 (Pamment 2011,
46-51). According to Cull (2008,32), public diplomacy can be divided intofivekinds
of practices: listening, advocacy, cultural diplomacy, exchange diplomacy and
intemational news broadcasting. The basic idea of public diplomacy is the openness in the process and that it entails communication between political leadership/
government and foreign publics. Listening means surveying and collecting relevant
information from the environment and making use of it in designing public diplomacy. Advocacy means all the communicative efforts that are made to make points
or policies known to extemal publics. Cultural diplomacy is the use of arts and all
kind of culture to build relations between countries such as arranging art exhibitions, cultural events or language education. Exchange diplomacy is the practice of
sending citizens overseas for periods of study and acculturation and reciprocally
receiving citizens from foreign countries. Intemational news broadcasting is the
use of radio, television or the Internet to reach foreign publics (Cull 2008, 32-36).
New public diplomacy is a catch-all word for the challenges that established
ways of doing puhlic diplomacy are faced with. Linked to politics, it addresses
all the new actors and stakeholders in global and international policy processes.
International communication is no longer, and may never have been, carried out
between states or representatives of states. Intemational organisations, NGOs,
private organisations (companies and interest organisations) and individuals have
new roles to play in policy processes, now often seen as processes of governance. In
this respect, new puhlic diplomacy is challenged to coordinate the communication
between these actors rather than communicating to them. Public diplomacy may
develop into a communication that goes from one public to another public (Snow
Digital communication and the media offer new tools and practices for collecting, sorting, analysing and distributing information. Listening to the world is
enhanced hy digital surveillance technology and new tools for analysing Intemet
and digital media of all kinds. Social media also become relevant as an area for
listening to what is said about a country.
New media also bring new tools for advocacy. Not only public relations and
spin are making use of the press, radio and TV; their digital versions, accessed using
computers, smart phones and reading tablets, are also being used and monitored.
The interactive features of digital media also bring in the public to respond to or
participate in the communication process. The Swedish Institute introduced the idea
of curating micro-blogging into public diplomacy, and state websites of countries
are developing into social media. Besides public diplomacy activities a plethora
of information and services of relevance for a country are available on the Intemet
through, for instance, Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or Wikipedia. Among
the five forms of public diplomacy that Cull uses, intemational broadcasting is
probably the one undergoing the greatest change at the moment. Global television
broadcasting and news for a global audience is no longer an issue for the West.
CNN, BBC World News and Al Jazeera are now under competition from CCTV
Intemational and Russia Today. To what extent CCTV Intemational and Russia
Today are the mouthpieces of their respective governments is an issue that wül
not be addressed in this article. In the case of CCTV Intemational, its use of program formats, forms of journalism and audience address gives it an intemafional
style of news-making comparable to the news flow coming from CNN or the BBC.
Digital distribution also makes it possible to add new channels and to distribute
radio over the Intemet.
Nation branding can be seen as the business version of the public diplomacy
issue. It deals essentially with the ways states can attract tourists and investment
capital, but also with the nation brand as an asset for export. Public diplomacy
and nation branding go together in that they articulate the political and economic
aspects of intemational communication relafions. Nafion branding has the economy
in focus and uses the relative image and reputation of a country to design policies
and strategies to attract tourists and capital and to enhance exports (Anholt 2007).
Since these economic goals are also vital political goals in growth-oriented state
economies, especially under neo-liberal-influenced political regimes, the close
link between public diplomacy and nation branding becomes obvious. This close
connection between the economic and the political goals also holds for China.
Developing the Chinese economy makes nation branding relevant, and sustaining the political system through this economic development brings in the public
A third way of approaching intemational communication relations between
states is through the idea of soft power. This concept was developed by Joseph S.
Nye and is succinctly described as “the ability to affect others to obtain the outcomes
one wants through attraction rather than coercion or payment. A country’s soft
power rests on its resources of culture, values, and policies” (Nye 2008,94). Public
diplomacy and nation branding are closely tied to the idea of soft power. Nation
branding is more linked to the economic relations between countries (exports/
imports/tourism) and in that respect also to hard economic power, but it also has
essential aspects of information, communication and culture built into its practices.
Tourism is the obvious example where experiences are created through visits to
places and interaction with people in these places. The work and the communication surrounding exports and imports are also processes where such meetings and
communication across state borders take place and identities, images and experienees are made and shared. The trade in cultural goods and the values they carry
are another aspect of soft power connected to exports and imports. Hollywood’s
movies and their global impact and the generally ideological impact of cultural
goods are an important aspect of soft power.
AH five pracfices of public diplomacy fall under the soft-power term, but in
different ways. Listening and advocacy can be seen as intelligence and strategic
communication under the state agency umbrella. Cultural and exchange diplomacy together establish an arena where culture and people interact in new patterns.
Intemational news broadcasting brings in journalism and new forms of process
journalism and network journalism where user- generated content and the participation of users becomes more important. All theses practices highlight the
polifical aspect of soft power, but we can also see that the political goals support
the economic goals. Being a country that is iriformed, heard, present and part of
mulfiple kinds of exchange can also translate into the economy. To arficulate publie diplomacy and nafion branding so that they enhance the soft power of a state
can be seen as the main, and magic, goal of strategically successful intemational
communication linked to a state.
Finally, how are world and intemational exhibitions to be seen in the light of
public diplomacy, nafion branding and international soft power? Intemational
exhibifions can be considered the testing ground, archetype and undifferentiated
practice of all three, the first modem and international complex social and cultural form where economic, political and cultural values and goods are mixed and
where products, polifics and people interact, juxtaposing mutual understanding
and strategic action. In the beginning, the intemational exhibition was conceived
as a competition between nations in culture and progress, just like the Olympics.
From 1851 to 1900, a series of monumental exhibitions were arranged in Europe
and the USA. These exhibitions were signs of extreme modernity during the latter
half of the 19* century. In the 20* century, world and intemational exhibitions were
held all over the globe under the control of the BIE, but during the latter part of the
century world exhibitions were questioned as being too costly and an inefficient way
of using funds available for public diplomacy and nation branding for developing
soft power (e.g. Seville 1992, Hannover 2000). The reason was that the components
of the intemational exhibition had been permanently institutionalised in different
forms of public diplomacy, trade fairs and tourism marketing. The temporary
and ephemeral vistas of the exhibifion had been replaced by the permanent and
systematic organisation of communication by states, companies and private bodies
during the 20th century, especially in the final decades of the century.
So why should China hold a world exhibition, as this mode of communication
seems to be outdated – an innovation of the 19th century? And what impact could
we expect the Expo to have abroad in the 21st century, this globally connected and
digitally communicating century? By studying the reports in Swedish dailies, this
article will give preliminary answers to these questions.
The Case – Expo Reports in Four Swedish Dailies
The coverage of the Shanghai World Expo during 2010 in the four main national
dailies in Sweden was analysed; all the articles mentioning the Expo during this
year (before, during and after the event) were covered. A general overview of the
publicity was produced, and a comparison was made between two kinds of dailies,
up-market and down-market, in terms of volume, date of publication and type of
contents. Four specific quesfions were also asked about the representafion of China
and Sweden in the texts: (a) How are the reasons for arranging and participating
in the event reported? (b) How are China and Sweden represented in the reports
– with a focus on the event itself, or with a focus on the context of the event? (c)
How are the outcomes of the exhibition reported – for Chinese and Swedish interests? (d) How do the reports address the world exhibifion as a cultural form of
Based on the answers to these questions, the possible impact of the expo reception in Sweden on Chinese public diplomacy, nation branding and soft power will
be discussed, together with the use of the world exhibition as a form of communication.
Method and Material
The dailies that were studied are Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Aftonbladet
and Expressen.’^ Dagens Nyheter (DN) and Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) are subscribed
morning papers with a national distribution. Having this national readership makes
them the two biggest national morning papers in Sweden. The editorial ambition
of the dailies is to offer high-quality news with a broad coverage of different topics.
Printed in the night but read in the morning, they will be called the morning dailies
in this text. Aftonbladet (AB) and Expressen (Exp) are more popular tabloid dailies
covering news and events of the day in a more sensationalist manner. Both focus
on sport, celebrities and entertainment in their mix of news. They are printed in
the morning and read during the day and evening and for that reason are called
evening papers in Sweden.-‘
Table 1: Circulation and Reach of the Four Newspapers, 2010
Expressen including GToch Kvälisposten
Source: Upplage- och Räckviddsutveckling 2001-2010.
These four dailies were chosen because they have a national coverage and are
in that respect the four most important Swedish dailies as possible carriers of information about Expo 2010 to Swedish readers.
The articles were collected by using two databases – Retriever and Presstext* and searching these full text databases of the dailies from 2010. Three search strings
were used: “expo 2010,” “shanghai” and “world exhibition*”^ For comparison, a
search for the word “China” was also made.
Table 2: Search Query and Results
The three search terms gave a result of 750 texts. By reading and comparing all
these texts, a total of 119 relevant texts were then selected for further analysis. The
basic criteria for this selection were that the text should make an explicit reference
to the Shanghai 2010 Expo.
Three levels of relevance were then introduced to further classify the arficles. The
first level was arficles in which the Shanghai Expo was only menfioned, but where
it was clearly out of focus; 33 texts were categorised in this way. On the second
level of relevance, articles that fully, mainly or in a substantial way referred to the
Expo were coded; 51 texts were given this level of relevance. On the third level of
relevance were the main pieces, the longer arficles, in different joumalistic genres,
describing, commenting or discussing the Expo event in a more extensive way; 35
articles were identified in this category. All the 119 texts were read and analysed
and hence contribute to the result of this study.
When designing the study, a conscious choice was made to focus on the articles
that mention Expo 2010. This means that we cannot report how China in general
was represented in the dailies studied during 2010. On the other hand, the study
covers all that was published about the Expo. Further studies, widening the scope
of analysis, are needed. The articles in this study could be compared with a sample of articles referring to China. In addition, further comparisons with the media
coverage of China in other countries should also be made*.
An Overview of the Publicity
World Expos being major intemational events, they should be of interest for
national dailies with an aim to cover intemational issues. The Expo was expected
to attract 70 million visitors, which it surpassed by 3 million, and since Sweden
also participated, we should expect coverage of both the event and the Swedish
participation. But how much publicity can a global event of this kind generate
in national dailies? During 2010, China was mentioned in more than 3,000 texts
in the four dailies, but only a small proportion of the texts, 3.5 percent, made explicit reference to the Expo. O …
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