(IN)DEPENDENCY ON THE HEGEMONIC TO BE HEARD: NEWS-FOCUSED WECHAT OFFICIAL ACCOUNTS IN AUSTRALIA AS A CASE STUDY
Keywords:WeChat Official Accounts, ethnic media, Chinese diaspora, news production, interethnic racism
AbstractThis paper contextualizes an alternative perspective to a common academic discourse that ethnic media in the West provide a voice for the marginalized from the original bourgeois public sphere. The paper investigates an emergent industry – news-focused WeChat Official Accounts (hereafter WOAs) in Australia. The WOA is an information broadcasting feature launched on WeChat in August 2013 and then adopted by Australian-Chinese media entrepreneurs to produce and circulate the ethno-specific news stories among the Chinese diaspora in Australia and even beyond. From 2019 to 2020, I interviewed 24 media professionals to understand the internal working of news-focused WOAs in Australia. I argue that the anatomy of these Chinese-language digital media organizations reveals their financial independence from the nation-state in contrast to Australian hegemonic taxpayer-sponsored media. Contrary to many media scholars have argued, news-focused WOAs do not completely represent antithetical voices to Australian English media. The commercial imperative does not translate well into agonistic pluralism. News-focused WOAs are attached to the hegemonic journalism and internalize interethnic racism alongside white supremacist discourse against black people in order to be part of the dominant media structure.
How to Cite
Yang, F. (2021). (IN)DEPENDENCY ON THE HEGEMONIC TO BE HEARD: NEWS-FOCUSED WECHAT OFFICIAL ACCOUNTS IN AUSTRALIA AS A CASE STUDY. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research, 2021. https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2021i0.12077