This thesis, based on "Image Theory", is attempting to explore the ways how Hong Kong media views and describes modern China. Several studies discussed how a national image is formed and manipulated. Hong Kong''s special background in history and its geographical environment makes its political culture unique. Ever since 1997, Hong Kong has become one of the special administrative regions under People''s Republic of China (PRC)''s political mechanism - One Country, Two Systems - which also signifies the differences between itself and China. This thesis intends to examine Hong Kong media''s attitudes toward various issues in China from the perspectives of two Hong Kong newspapers with different political standpoints.
The process of how an image is formed and built is quite complicated, so is a national image. The international image of modern China is generally derived from the western movies, the international media, and the academia. However, the PRC government and the Chinese scholars resent this international image created by western media, for instance, the "China''s Threat". What have been produced by western media further lead the Chinese people believe that the image of China is being smeared. As a result, China has begun taking its international image seriously, and the domestic discussion about "China''s image" has also emerged.
The foundation of this thesis lies in the way Hong Kong views China''s national image. The Takungpao and Mingpao newspapers are chosen from many of Hong Kong newspaper publishers as the target of Context Analysis, with several variables of measurement developed, such as "Categories of Sources", "Categories of Description", "Categories of Subjects", and "Scores of Images". The author recorded, analyzed and encoded data from these two newspapers, dating back 15 years. In addition, such information was encoded by employing the methodology of random sampling to discover the characteristics of how Hong Kong print media reports China.
Finally, when the author compared the research results with several of the public opinion polls (POP) on China''s image, it was observed that Hong Kong print media''s image of China (Scores of Images) is to an extent connected with long-term public opinion. Through the process of this research, the author aims to show the disparity between the print media and the public''s views toward the image of China, as well as explains these disparities based on political, economical and social perspectives.