5. Party journalism vs. market journalism: The coverage of SARS by the <i>People's Daily</i> and <i>Beijing Youth News</i>
This study examines how <i>People’s Daily, </i>an organ of the Chinese Communist Party, and <i>Beijing Youth News, </i>a market-oriented newspaper, covered the SARS crisis in 2003. A qualitative analysis of the SARS-related stories shows that the two newspapers basically followed the Party’s overall policy towards information management regarding the epidemic. The newspapers’ censorship and publicity of information about the epidemic were based on the Party’s strategies rather than their own editorial decisions. However, the two newspapers also had some important differences in handling news about the Party leaders, the medical workers and the public. While <i>People’s Daily </i>tended to follow the Party line in its daily reports about the epidemic, <i>Beijing Youth News </i>was more likely to follow its bottom line by presenting stories of greater relevance to the public.