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Communication, Development and Social Participation in China, Vol. 27 - 2020, No. 2

Guest Edited by Yuezhi Zhao and Jing Wu

A Sound and Fury Signifying Mediatisation: On The Hong Kong Protests, 2019

, pages: 200-209

This article examines the massive protests and global media event known as the “anti-extradition protests” in Hong Kong during 2019. The protests became the most live-streamed movement ever, and were narrated globally, though not in China, as an exemplary, brave demand for democracy and freedom against the P.R.C.'s intrusions. I argue that the event and movement can also be read as an apt example of mediatisation, or the media direction if not command of the geo-political sphere. From one perspective the movement was a spectacular success in garnering media sympathy and attention, even generating American legislation in support of Hong Kong's “freedom.” And yet the mainland's refusal to intervene into or pacify the conflict, despite deliberate, extreme provocations to make it do so, also suggest strong limits to global mediatisation. The movement may have triggered a new approach for Chinese resistance to mediatisation.

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