Media coverage and government policy of nuclear power in the People's Republic of China

Yongxiang Wang, Nan Li, Jingping Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

China has vigorously pursued nuclear power and has developed a series of ambitious nuclear power policies in the past several years. To smoothly implement these policies, the Chinese government wants to mobilize public support because a high level of public acceptance helps legitimize these policies. Considering that news media can influence public opinion, we analyzed the content of news articles related to nuclear power in two Chinese mainstream newspapers, The People's Daily and The Guangming Daily, between 2004 and 2013. The results show that the articles in the two newspapers primarily reflected pro-nuclear or informational statements, whereas anti-nuclear opinions were rarely published. Pro-nuclear arguments most often focused on environmental benefits and safety, which have been frequently emphasized in the Chinese government's nuclear power policies. These findings indicate that the mainstream news coverage of nuclear power is highly consistent with the Chinese government's pro-nuclear policies, which suggests that the government had a significant impact on the content reported by the mainstream media in China. Lastly, this study proposes some policy recommendations for nuclear power development in China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-223
Number of pages10
JournalProgress in Nuclear Energy
Volume77
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2014

Keywords

  • Chinese nuclear policy
  • Environmental benefits
  • Media coverage
  • Nuclear power
  • Nuclear safety

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