Examining the Role of Chinese Diaspora Media During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The case of Sing Tao US ‘Current Events Observation’

Proceedings of ‏The 4th International Conference on Research in Humanities and Social Sciences

Year: 2021

DOI:

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Examining the Role of Chinese Diaspora Media During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The case of Sing Tao US ‘Current Events Observation’

Zhang Fengyuan

 

ABSTRACT: 

The aim of this study is to understand the role of Chinese diaspora media in the US during the COVID-19 period. The study focuses on the Sing Tao YouTube channel, a program named “Current Events Observation”. In order to understand the role of the Chinese diaspora media, this study selected the data from January 2020 to May 2020 from this program. Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Content Analysis were adopted to analyze the data. It took a social constructivist approach, applying concepts to analyze the media representation of the selected case during COVID-19. According to the analysis, there are three main findings. First, the media representation of Sing Tao YouTube channel focuses on the shared fear/concern of the Chinese diaspora, namely, the racial discrimination against the Chinese diaspora. In particular, concerns about the boycott of stigmatized words and incidents of racial discrimination and violence against American Chinese during the pandemic. Second, a binary between the US and China was constructed in the media coverage of the pandemic. Such a binary setting not only implies the ambivalence of the diaspora identity but also reveals the diaspora media’s political position. Finally, the Sing Tao, as a diaspora media also attempts to construct synchronicity and a sense of belonging across geographic borders between the Chinese community in the US and the homeland through commenting on Chinese entertainment shows. This study contributes to the understanding of the complex interplay between the diaspora media and the ambivalent identities of the Chinese diaspora in the context of a global crisis of COVID-19.

Keywords: Diasporic media, Chinese diaspora, media representation, Sing Tao US.