News portrayals of the 2008 and 2022 Beijing Olympics in Western and Chinese prestige newspapers / Giovanna Maria Dora Dore

Maria Dora Dore, Giovanna

Edited by Johns Hopkins University - 2023

The news portrayals of the 2008 and 2022 Beijing Olympics project uses a bottom-up approach that combines natural language processing (NLP), statistical methods, and qualitative content analysis of English language China, Asia, Tanzania, and western-based newspapers’ coverage of the Beijing Olympics. Our research revealed that that China heavily engaged in signaling about the Olympics through its English-language newspapers sources; and yet western-based newspapers’ coverage of the 2008 and 2022 Beijing Olympics tended to blunt China’s accomplishments and ambitions, thus limiting the positive “impacts of the Olympics on the [Beijing’s] brand” as well as China from reaping the gains it hoped for internationally. As such, China’s signaling efforts to leverage the soft power of the Olympics were only partially successful, especially in securing the legacy of both the 2008 and 2022 Olympic Games. In its choice of methodology, the research that informs this report broadens the application of NLP techniques to the social sciences. In its choice of topic, it furthers the literature on the relationship between the printed media, sports mega-events and rising powers.

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