Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Mass Communications

Major Professor

Roxanne Watson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Scott S. Liu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kelli Burns, Ph.D.


Food Safety, Labeling, Public Opinion, Media Security, Chinese Officials, Media Position


Grounded in framing theory, this thesis presents a qualitative content analysis of newspaper coverage of genetically modified foods by two Chinese newspapers- People’s Daily and Southern Metropolis, in 2000-2017. The political, economic, public opinion and legal implications involved have made the reports of genetically modified (GM) foods present different framing, themes, and positions between People’s Daily and Southern Metropolis. This study aims to examine the various frames used in the coverage of GM foods in two major Chinese newspapers that operate within different media frameworks.

Results of the content analysis illustrated that significant differences existed in the newspapers in their framing of GM foods, the themes of GM foods, the positions, news source, and media attributes. While the frames used by People’s Daily and Southern Metropolis were similar in the emphasis on the importance of “Supervision to GM product”, “Worries & Potential Risk/Safety”, and “International perspective”, Southern Metropolis presented a significance of pluralistic standpoint than People’s Daily whose attitude was likely to neutral and pro-GMO. People’s Daily preferred to use the frames of “Advanced Technology”, “International Perspective” or “Economic Consequences”, whereas Southern Metropolis preferred to produce the framed stories of “Worries & Potential Risk/Safety”.

GMO data.xlsx (20 kB)