Reporting AIDS and the invisible victims in China: Official knowledge as news in the People's Daily, 1986-2002

  • Dong D
  • Chang T
  • Chen D
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Abstract

Against the backdrop of the sociology of knowledge as a framework, the purposes of this study are threefold: (1) to examine the discourses surrounding the AIDS news in China; (2) to determine how Chinese people with AIDS and the identification of their social groups are covered at the national level; and (3) to discuss the implications of reporting AIDS as official knowledge for a better understanding of the interplay between the mass media and social structure in China today. Findings indicate that as an epidemic, AIDS in China has not only become invisible in the national news, but also constructed as a nonissue devoid of social consequences in public health communication. It is a disease mostly presented in an "us vs. them" news discourse that helps convey the official knowledge as to how AIDS is to be perceived and understood in the country.

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Authors

  • Dong Dong

  • Tsan Kuo Chang

  • Dan Chen

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