Representing the ‘Other’: The Framing of China in BBC English and Urdu Online News
Keywords:China, BBC Online, Representation, Framing Analysis, Authorship
Having established its economic power globally, China is now also asserting its soft power in the international symbolic representational realm—largely dominated by the West. This paper critically evaluates how BBC discursively constructs China in its Online English and Urdu News, and discusses its attendant social, political, and economic implications for the Chinese and Pakistani citizens in particular, and for people all over the world. We also discuss how does the West perceive China’s efforts to establish a global soft image and what role BBC plays in it. Using a combination of research tools; Framing, Authorship and Sourcing, the study analyzed 115 news stories. The analysis revealed that ‘China-Threat’ is the dominant frame in BBC’s coverage of China. Second, all stories were written by correspondents stationed outside China. Finally, BBC disproportionately cited Western news/expert sources, and also many sources/reports were unspecified (anonymous). The aim of this paper is to prompt readers to question commonly held assumptions of China propagated mostly by Western media.