Thesis (PhD)--Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Dept. of Media, Music, Communication & Cultural Studies, 2011.
Bibliography: p. 185-201.
A point of departure: multiple interpretations of cross-strait relations -- The cross-strait tango: history, politics and media -- Making the connection: an international communication approach to cross-strait relations -- To polish the dim mirror: in search of methodological insights -- First off the post: when media brokers crossed the Taiwan Strait -- Mediating at the crossroads: an interviewing investigation of cross-strait journalists -- Conclusion: mediating past, present and future across the Taiwan Strait.
The focus of this thesis is the role of journalists, members of cultural and intellectual elites in their own societies, in the expansion of cross-strait relations between mainland China and Taiwan and the sociopolitical transformations that envelope these relations. Since 1949, the knotty relations between these two societies have been characterised by long-standing political and military confrontation, diplomatic competition and more recently, economic cooperation. -- The thesis aims at analysing the role of journalists on both sides in brokering, from 1987, friendlier relations between mainland China and Taiwan, through what has been characterised in the literature as media-broker diplomacy and media diplomacy, diplomacy being a process of negotiation that can contribute to conflict resolution or advancement of cooperation in social contexts at all levels. This thesis proposes that cross-strait relations are a process of communication within which the media acts as the indicator of the political climate and journalists in particular have been important actors in constructing a peaceful climate. Historically journalists have been instrumental in improving crossstrait relations at times and at other times media has ratcheted up animosity. However, their role as mediators has been achieved at the cost of journalistic independence and neutrality. -- To explore this research proposition, this thesis employs case studies and intensive interviews as two key research methods. From an historical perspective, this thesis delineates the trajectories of mediabroker diplomacy and media diplomacy in the cross-strait setting (1987-2009). From an international communication perspective, however, it proceeds with a theoretical investigation of journalists' concerns about mediating at the crossroads of media and politics, journalistic independence and political participation, professionalism and nationalism. -- The significance of this thesis is that it will provide an objective assessment of media diplomacy and media-broker diplomacy in one of the most difficult flash points in the world, providing as an outcome a detailed reconstruction and analysis of the process of media diplomacy and media-broker diplomacy in this context, which would be available as a model for consideration in other contexts.