USF St. Petersburg campus Master's Theses (Graduate)


Leung Kiu Fok

First Advisor

Major Professor: Monica Ancu, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Casey Frechette, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Peter N. Funke, Ph.D.


University of South Florida St. Petersburg



Document Type


Publication Date


Date Issued

March 21, 2017


This content analysis research investigated the content and quality of political discourse generated by online news media’s Facebook pages in Hong Kong. First, the focus of this study was to examine how Hong Kong’s online news media frame the political relationship between Hong Kong and China by analyzing the news postings on the Facebook pages of the top three online news media organizations in post-handover Hong Kong. The three online news media being analyzed were Stand News, Post 852, and Hong Kong 01. The results suggest that some online news media have a tendency to embed partisan, pro-democracy perspectives in their news posts via social media. The findings also indicate that some online news media tend to produce affective news as an audience engagement strategy. Second, the present research also explored the degree of polarization, levels of civility and politeness, and how readers themselves view the current political situation by analyzing Facebook user comments on the news postings from the three selected organizations. The findings reveal that incivility and impoliteness did not dominate online political discourse, rather readers tend to be rude and abusive with their messages sometimes.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Arts Department of Journalism and Media Studies College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida St. Petersburg

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