Chinese Governmental Post-Crisis Management of 2003 SARS Epidemic: Evaluation of Governmental Communication Strategies and Frame Correlation between Government and Mass Media


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Virginia Tech


This study used a content analysis and a rhetorical analysis to examine the strategies the Chinese government utilized for handling post-crisis issues of the 2003 SARS epidemic. The content of several media outlets — Chinese Version of Xinhua News Agency, English Version of Xinhua News Agency, The Toronto Star, The New York Times, The Times (London) — were examined on the same issue in the post-crisis period from June 25, 2003 to September 9, 2003. Chinese media and Western media were examined to test the frame correlation between media and Chinese government discourses. The use of Chinese government as information sources in media coverage was explored. Chinese post-crisis management performance was evaluated through analysis of the use of Chinese government frames by mass media and the use of the Chinese government as a trusted information source. The results showed that the Chinese government used a renewal post-crisis communication theme through communication strategies of bolstering and transcendence. The content of Chinese media had a substantial relationship with frames of Chinese government. Chinese government was used as a believable source for Chinese media. The content of Western media had no relationship with frames of Chinese government. Chinese government was employed as a skeptical information source in coverage of Western media.



Post-crisis, Frame, 2003 SARS epidemic, Transcendence, Bolstering, Renewal