Media Innovation in China & Contemporary Chinese Digital Materials – CHERN webinars

CHERN, the Nordic Institute for Asian Studies NIAS (University of Copenhagen, Denmark), and the Center for East Asian Studies CEAS (University of Turku, Finland) are organizing a CHERN Training school on computational methods in Chinese studies in April 2022, and two webinars that are part of the program will be open not only to the selected participants but to all those interested. 

Read more about the topics and speakers and register for the webinars below. Please note that each webinar requires a separate registration.

Media innovation in China and its implications on contemporary China research

In the face of a universal challenge to news media in the digital age, how are Chinese media leveraging artificial intelligence (AI)? How has the Chinese media landscape changed amid China pushing its national strategy to become a global AI superpower by 2030? When designing research projects on contemporary China and sourcing Chinese media, what should we pay attention to? This talk will provide an overview of the state of the art of media innovation in China, the development stages, and the motivating forces behind it. It will address some methodological issues when designing research projects in relation to the phenomenon and discuss its implications on research and society at large.

Thursday, April 28
15:15-16:15 UTC+1


Joanne Kuai

Karlstad University

Joanne Kuai is a lecturer and a PhD Candidate at Karlstad University, Sweden, with a research project on Artificial Intelligence in Chinese Newsrooms. She is a member of the Ander Center for Research on News and Opinion in the Digital Era (NODE) and Geomedia Research Group at Karlstad University and an affiliated PhD student at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies at the University of Copenhagen. Her research interests centre around data and AI for media, computational journalism, and the social implications of automation and algorithms. Prior to her academic career, she had worked as a reporter, editor and news anchor in China for over a decade.

Contemporary Chinese Digital Materials in the Big-data Era

The emergence of big-data has made previously hard-to-tackle data and questions comprehensible for researchers. For scholars who would like to be acquainted with digital materials, this talk addresses the spectrum of new types of data and data collection methods that has emerged for Contemporary China Studies, including social media sources, news outlets, and third-party databases. For instance, Sina Weibo posts and comments are excellent sources to study public opinion and narrative campaigns, whereas one should be aware of the pitfalls of working with Sina Weibo’s API (application programming interface). This talk also addresses the differences between China’s large state-owned media outlets – Xinhua, CGTN, Global Times, and China News, by discussing by their reporting on COVID-19. Besides, this workshop also introduces a few third-party textual data databases, such as Factiva and Ringdata, as they sometimes can be good alternatives to text mining.

Friday, April 29
13:00-14:00 UTC+1


Eric Zhang


Eric Zhang is a Junior researcher at LeidenAsiaCentre. He has a background in Political Science and International Relations. His current work mainly involves research on topics, including China’s economic footprint in Europe, the impact of digital technologies, and cybersecurity, with regional focuses on China and Eastern Europe. Eric has a particular interest in incorporating computational methods in policy-relevant academic research.

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