Comunicar Journal Blog

Some thoughts related to the new trend in the studies of the Internet and emotion

In this day and age, the Internet sphere has become a habitual place for the everyday communication. The article Internet and Emotions: New Trends in an Emerging Field of Research. Serrano-Puche (2016) mapped out different research areas where the Internet and emotions converge within Media and Communication. It introduced some studies focus on the analysis of a specific emotion including empathy, annoyance, envy or jealousy, resentment and hope; the latter part emphasized the analysis of emotions in relation to the social networks, where Lasén argued that rather than a means of communication, the digital realm is a space that we inhabit and that it inhabits us. (Lasén, 2014)

Under the guidance of Serrano-Puche’s article, I found that the large-scale emotion contagion, which is described as the viral spread of content in the digital realm, is closely linked to emotion marketing, a popular marketing tactic utilized by the online TV drama producers in mainland China.

Online drama series have never been as trendy as in recent age in mainland China. 2015 witnessed the success of Surprise and Go princess go in mainland. The latter one, a time travel series launched in December 2015 by the LeTV, has attracted more than 1.53 billion clicks for episode 1 and heatedly discussed across different social media platforms (Weibo, Wechat, forums, etc.). As the plot and the criticism spread widely, more and more netizens joined the parade of commenting and watching, leading to an increase of more than 500 thousand on the membership of the website of LeTV in a short period and brought a direct profit of 10 million yuan to its producer and distributor.

This adaptation based on an online novel and is a no-brain episodes (easy-to-digest program) for relaxation in comparison to other dramas on the list. The colourful scene settings, weird costumes and props are prepared delicately by the film crew for the purpose of creating feelings of surprise, self-mockery and joy. As the topic of this TV series meets the requisite of sharing, it produced an extraordinary amount of buzz online. To put it in a more post-90s way: they created gag lines to arouse more bullet curtains. That means the registered members can comment while watching the video with their commentary creating a visual effect of a series of barrage on the screen, and this is a Japanese term originated from one kind of shooting game.

In fact, audience were induced by the marketing team to comment on the plot. Post 90s and 00s are netizens inhabited by such kind of culture, and they are willing to create punchlines by themselves. Commenting on the scene or reposting articles that share the same view will provide the person with more comments from friends and clicks on the like button in social media platform like Wechat, and that would bring him/her the feelings of satisfaction and drive him to produce more content and enjoy the same felling again and again. When a person is commenting on or reposting articles about a media product, the interaction is from human to the machine directly, which means it is simple and private that there is no need to hide his/her emotion. As the same sentiment is contagious in the Internet sphere, it then becomes popular, and a series of commenting and reposting made up an action of large-scale communication and auto promotion for the product.

Emotion marketing is a habitual tactic for LeTV and there is no exception for Go Princess Go, with which LeTV grabbed audience’s attention and money before they rationally awaken to it. We can tell, from this case, that the market potential of netizens in mainland are huge and the tactic to stimulate them still needs further studies.

the hat of royal doctor is a parody of Chanel



  1. Serrano-Puche, J. (2016) Internet and emotions: New trends in an emerging field of research, Comunicar, 24, 19-26.
  2. Lasén, A. (2014). Introducción. Las mediaciones digitales de la edu- cación sentimental de los y las jóvenes. In I. Megía Quirós, & E. Ro- dríguez-San-Julián (Coords.), Jóvenes y comunicación. La impron- ta de lo virtual, 7-16. Madrid: Fundación de Ayuda contra la Drogadicción.
  3. Xu Fei, Conversation with the Supervisor Gan Wei: Marketing team did a good job, and we are not a team in poverty(对话《太子妃升职记》监制甘薇:营销立大功 剧组真不穷) [online](2016, Jan 14). Retrieved from
  4. Tai Zi Fei Sheng Zhi Ji internet program (太子妃升职记网络剧) (2015, Dec 24). We got the doctor a hat! [Microblog post]. Retrieved from





Xiao Wan: Review of Design, Motivation and Performance in a Cooperative MOOC Course

Review: Design, Motivation and Performance in a Cooperative MOOC Course

Comunicar, n. 44, v. XXII, 2015

by Castaño, C., Maiz, I., & Garay, U.


Nowadays, MOOCs are seen as the latest evolution in online learning for their potential to offer quality, large-scale education worldwide. While little research has focused on measuring learning outcomes. This paper shows the results of a research study that focused on the pedagogical design of a cooperative MOOC and its influence on motivation and academic results. There are three questions to be explored in this research, including:

a) Is there a relationship between academic performance and the pedagogical design of the course?

b) Is there a relationship between students’ motivation and the pedagogical design of the course?

c) Is there a relationship between academic performance and students’ motivation?

A Delphi study was used to validate the design, and the motivation variable was controlled using the Instructional Materials Motivation Survey (IMMS). The research discovers that the pedagogical design of the course has an influence on both academic performance and students’ motivation. As for the third question, although there is no direct relationship between global motivation and performance, yet there exists such a relationship between global motivation and one of the factors that constitutes motivation, namely satisfaction.

This research mainly used a quantitative research method to analyze the relationship between the pedagogical design and students’ motivation and academic results. Such kind of data and analysis can make readers clearly understand the research results. While more details are expected to be seen in the further research of this topic, such as how the pedagogical design influence on the students’ motivation and academic results. In my own opinion, qualitative research method can be used as a supplementary means in that situation.

This review article is composed by

Ms. XIAO Wan

Doctoral student,

Nanjing Normal University

xiao wan

Review of “Initium in the whirlpool”

“What I claim is to live to the full contradiction of my time, which may well make sarcasm the condition of truth.” —Roland Barthes, Mythologies

屏幕快照 2015-10-12 下午2.26.35

The Chinese population all around the world share the same language. But when you ask a Taiwanese and a mainland Chinese about who contributed most in the anti-Japanese war, the answers could be totally different. If you search for the keywords online, you will be overloaded with the results and opinions from netizens, media and other resources.

What is trustworthy in such an information whirlpool? Initium is trying to react to such situation. As a new media organization set up in August 2015, Initium intends to offer insights into Greater China region and international affairs with scrupulous reports and data analysis in Chinese. Its major platforms includes an app, a website, SNS accounts(Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and a newspaper to be published later on according to Annie, the executive editor of the Initium.

Headquartered in Hong Kong, Initium aims at audience in Greater China region. But in reality, it was blocked in mainland China only 12 days after its launch, which means its content is regarded as harmful to the political authorities or threatening the social stability. In Hong Kong, citizens suspect that the company is financially backed by the Chinese government. Hence, whether Initium serves as the throat of Chinese government is under debate, because people have no idea who the largest investor is. According to Annie, the boss will show up in late 2015.

In my opinion, after browsing all sorts of news platforms in everyday life, I can tell the dedication and professionalism of its staff through their works. Its news articles, approximately 800 to 1000 words in length, emphasize the original investigating reports and data-based research. On the left corner of its Facebook page, it highlights a video In Praise of Fai Ching (廢青頌)[1]. It is their most successful video so far, liked and reposted by more than 700 people. It has drawn such wide attention that below the video there are diversified and polarized comments. Annie said, it hits the emotional point of Hong Kong youngsters and got spread quickly online regardless of who the video producer is. Against the backdrop that Hong Kong youngsters have to face the increasingly unaffordable living cost, the video well responds to this cruel reality. Every story has its own life and character, and the audience is the judge of its value and newsworthiness.

In the age of Internet, media industries in different countries have witnessed the fading of printed media. With the popularity of social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and WeChat (China), to certain extents, people have got used to fragmented news and infographics. But can we proclaim the death of investigative journalism? Can lengthy but profound reportage still attract audience and wield clout in the current age? Seeing from the case of Initium, I would say, content is still the king. The popularity gained by the video and long-form articles signifies that an inviting topic accompanied by engaging narratives can still win respect from audience.

The fading or transformation of printed media is neither simply removing the contents from paper to screen, nor mixing words with images alone. There should be a more complicated and discursive process embedded in the concrete social context. Standing along among the blossom of all sorts of new media platforms, Initium, aiming at producing serious news stories, provides an interesting case for us to ponder.

Though Initium is in an embarrassing position, Annie is positive about its future. The website traffic is more than 1.5 billion and around 60 thousand people downloaded the app in the first month. Personally, I would rather describe Initium as a social innovation lab than merely media company. Let’s wait and see what kind of chemical reaction it will create in the center of whirlpool.

Website of Initium:

[1] Fai Ching (廢青):A transliteration of wasted young persons in Hong Kong. Originally, it refers to the losers in school and workplace, unable to afford a flat in Hong Kong but like joining anti-government protest to vent the grievances. Having been approved by netizens in a popular local website( since October 2014, it is changing into a polysemous word of self-mockery, ridiculing and sacarsm.

Liu Jing: A Research on the Evaluation Index System of Chinese Journalists’ Media Literacy

Tags: China, journalist;media literacy;Evaluation Index System

Media literacy level can be measured through qualitative and quantitative research. In order to properly investigate media literacy ability of Chinese journalists at the age of social media, a scientific and objective evaluation system is very important. For this reason, the research group from South China Normal University tried to construct an evaluation index system of Chinese journalists’ media literacy. The study is presented as follows.

(Thematic authors of this index:

Zhang Xuebo, Professor, South China Normal University, China.

Li Surui, Graduate student, South China Normal University, China.)


Step 1: Design a Questionnaire

The first-level index of journalists’ new media literacy is assumed as five indicators: media cognitions, media emotions, media skills, and media aesthetics and media ethics, and then 19 secondary indicators have been developed. Based on those 5 indicators and 19 secondary indicators, we designed a questionnaire on Chinese Journalist’ media literacy evaluation system, and sent it to university professors of Journalism and Communication in China, media experts by e-mail. The number of questionnaires is 72, receiving a total of 32 questionnaires, and the invalid questionnaire is 0, the questionnaire was 100% effective.

Firstly, the questionnaire scales Cronbach α coefficient (Cronbach Alpha) is 0.744, significantly higher than the 0.7 level. The results indicate that the internal consistency of this scale is an affirmative.

Secondly, the questionnaire validity analysis would be used KMO method. The results indicate that KMO is 0.515, greater than 0.5, indicating that the construct validity of the scale is acceptable. So, we can do the factor analysis. In addition, Bartlett’s test of sphericity is 161.998, df 91, Sig. 0.000, it represent that the groups have a common correlation matrix factors. The results also indicate that the questionnaire is suitable for doing factor analysis

Thirdly, principal component analysis was made to extract relevant factors from the samples. The outputs show that the front five factors was 71.669% cumulative contribution, more than 70%, to explain most of the information index. The extracted five main components establish the original factor loading matrix, and at the same time we delete some incompatible indications. Through the second factor analysis and cluster analysis testing, the results are generally the same as the first factor analysis, The final Media Literacy Evaluation System includes 5 indicators and 13 secondary indicators.

Step 2: Construct the index of Chinese journalist’ media literacy evaluation system

With questionnaires filled by experts to re-assign the various indicators, the researchers constructed the core first-level and second-level index of the media literacy evaluation system. The first-level index have 5 indicators, the second-level index have 13 indicators. The first-level indicators include media emotions, media skills, media selections, media uses and media recognitions. By factor contribution rate and the accumulated contribution rate, we can calculate index weight of each level indicator. The media literacy evaluation index system and weight of journalist in the following table.

First Grade indexes Proportion Secondary indexes Explain of The Index proportion
Media Emotion 30% Media organization cognition The understanding of media organization structure, financial situation, the competition among the various media, the commercial and professional of media organization. 5
Aesthetics Aesthetics is able to master some media aesthetic, to identify and evaluate the standard of beauty, to form the correct aesthetic concept. 4
Expressing beauty media will be presented the reality in the form of aesthetic, in order to reduce significantly media persuade tendency in the process of news communication. 1
Appreciate aesthetic it is to use different skills, language and aesthetic effect in the different media products to analyzed 2
Pass the beauty To know the communication aesthetic in media production process, pay attention to the connotation of news information. 3
Media skill 19% Media creation skills the professional standards and the professional literacy, focus on the concrete operating level 1
Media communication skills with the help of media platform, according to the audience demand, communicate the news timely and effectively, to maximize the communication effect skills. 2
Media selection 18% Media language cognition a kind of cognition of visual language, auditory language and other communication symbols. 2
Media audience cognition an whole judgement about the audiences, like audience psychology, audience preference, audience feedback. 1
Media usage 17% Media usage cognition To obtain information from the media and have the skill which the usage of media, the production technology and process of media product, especially the basic cogniton and use of knowledge in the development of new media. 1
Media information production cognition It is how to product the news information with connotation, reproduce the social reality and passed to the public. 2

Media identification


Media demand intention

It contains the demand for media text, the demand for using different media forms, the demand to adapt the audience’s personalization custom news, after the demand for media, we can find if the journalist have the media contact or not.


Media contact consciousness

It is not only means the contact of traditional editorial business, but also the contact with voice , video and mobile media in all media ear. The media contact in mobile internet era in an important evaluation criterion of journalist media literacy ability.



In the end, we can construct an evaluation index system for journalists’ media literacy abilities in the new media environment, and provide relevant decision-making reference for the education sectors, media agencies, community groups, government decision-making departments. However, the research also has some shortcomings.

  1. This research on the evaluation index system of Chinese journalists’ media literacy only stays in the descriptive level.
  2. To make the data more representatives, the samples need to be enlarged. In addition, the research has only divided two level indexes. In the further research, we may divide more detailed index.

This article is originally composed by Prof. Liu Jing

Associate Professor, South China Normal University


Call for Papers: Communication, Civil Society, and Social Change

Thematic Editors

 Dr. Eloísa Nos Aldás, Universitat Jaume I of Castellón, Spain

 Dr. Matt Baillie Smith, Northumbria University Newcastle, United Kingdom

Focus: The injustices and inequalities taking place worldwide have moved thousands of people to claim their rights through social movements. Especially since 2011, citizens protests have revived globally with the Arab Spring, the 15M in Spain, Occupy in the United States and other countries such as Greece, Turkey, Chile or Brazil, that have also seen several social movements unfolding. In this context, the present special issue addresses matters that intersect with communication, civil society and social change. The edition of this issue has been conceived from a perspective of empowerment and agency with the objective of exploring peaceful communicative proposals and alternatives that, from civil society, could contribute to transform social injustices and inequalities. We refer to good practices and communicative innovations that foster people’s political engagement. Therefore, the publication will delve into the study of the influence of communicative models of structured and non-structured civil society (social movements and NGOs of social justice) to identify and mobilize citizens for their causes. This includes the analysis of indicators for evaluation and criteria of success of grassroots communication. Civil society has increased its opportunities of resistance with the emergence of digital networks. From a communicative perspective, we face the loss of influence of a unidirectional model and the appearance of a digital and non-digital proactive citizenship that rely on tools 2.0 (spaces and applications such as YouTube, CALL FOR PAPERS, 47 Wikipedia, Flickr, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, TitanPad, Mumble, or Telegram, among others), that have democratized information and media, allowing interaction among diverse transmitters and receivers (interlocutors) at transnational level. This evolution towards a collective creation of knowledge is one of the features of the so called cyberculture (Levy, 2007), Self-Mass communication (Castells, 2009), Technopolitics (Toret, 2013), or Networked Fourth Power (Sampedro, 2014), where people can create their own information and communication systems, as well as influence political configuration and re-appropriate democracy. Following the above statements, this issue will analyze the influence that these processes of digital citizenship through the Web 2.0 have had on the visibility, deliberation, and organization of civil society, mainly in the recent social movements such as 15M and Occupy. It also seeks to cover the study of different expressions and proposals sprung from civil society which contemplate contents and discourses that confront logics of power and control. Especially, it sets as a goal to analyze the main factors of success in the communication for social change through the discussion of possible social indicators for its evaluation, or criteria for its systematization.


 Cultural efficacy of the communication of social movements and NGOs of social justice  Indicators of cultural efficacy of the communication of social movements and NGOs of social justice

 From victims to indignant: discourses, representations and empowerment

 Communication of social movements, emotions and nonviolence

 Representation of protest and nonviolence  Impact of networks and digital logics on the communication of civil society

 Transmedia narratives, activism and social change  Activism and protest  NGOs, communication and social change

 Citizen journalism and social change

 Communicative practices of the 15M and other recent communicative movements

Guidelines and submission of proposals:

Proposals for the Special Issue through the OJS RECYT platform Important dates

Deadline for sending articles: September 30, 2015

Publication date of Comunicar Issue 47:

Preprint version: 2016 First trimester

Printed version: 2/2016: April 2016

Xu Wen: Media literacy education as liberal education in a Chinese high school


Two years ago, I got a chance to practice media literacy education in a Chinese high school. Based on the preliminary survey among these high school students, they are involved in popular culture, but do not care news much. News is an important channel for high school students to know the world and participate in social affairs. Therefore, we (the research team) plan to take them to focus on studying news. The purpose is to help students to access to news information, analyze and evaluate news information and communicate news in various situations. Studying news information is a way to cultivate citizenship, helping them to involve in social activities. Media literacy education is taken as liberal education in the school, and news is the main topic through the course. For news information, the main analytical framework for the course is:

Who (person and agency) produce the piece of news?

How many information sources are used in the piece of news?

Are these sources independent?

Which are reliable sources and which are not? Why?

How do you rewrite the piece of news if you were a journalist?

During the course, it takes activity-based learning for students. There are a lot of news examples that we can use for students activities. They are often divided into different groups to discuss some current issues, to present their news production and so on. Right or wrong is not the final answer for their discussion in the classroom. They have to provide logical and rational analysis for their opinions instead of offering a conclusion. Besides the classroom learning, students visited newspaper agency and TV station to get direct perception toward news production. With two rounds of practice, students show great interest in studying news. For media literacy education, it is expected that students could communicate news information in various situation. However, the time for the course is very limited. There are just six sessions for each class. In the later practice, we wish it could extend to news communication and production, particularly with we-media like twitter.

Author: Ms. XU Wen

XU Wen

Research Fellow, Institute of Higher Education, Communication University of China

Research interest: media literacy, comparative education and higher education