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31 January 2021
Anti-extradition Law and Beyond: The Role of Media and Communication in the Crisis of Hong Kong
The incident and focus of the Special Issue:
The year 2019 signified another major turning point in Hong Kong since its return of sovereignty to China in 1997. The mass protest against the Hong Kong government for fear of enacting Article 23 legislation in 2003 was the first spark. The Umbrella Movement in 2014 demanding for universal suffrage was the second wave. The Anti-Extradition Law incident in 2019 created an even bigger controversy with Hong Kong under international spotlight.
In order to be able to repatriate a Hong Kong citizen who allegedly murdered his girlfriend in Taiwan, the Hong Kong SAR Government proposed to enact an extradition law. However, the general public strongly opposed to this idea as this law may also be used to send Hong Kong people to the Mainland for trial. In June 2019, there were public rallies with more than a million participants. Different types of protest activities and violence broke out in the coming months. The HKSAR Government decided to scrap the bill but did not go far enough to answer satisfactorily the five demands by the protesters, including the appointment of an independent Commission of Inquiry. The protest movement died down after Covid-19 struck Hong Kong in February 2020 but the major issues were not resolved. The Central Government then decided to enact a National Security Law in Hong Kong, which led to sanctions posed by the United States and its allies.
There are different approaches to study the Anti-extradition Law controversy. Some scholars from various disciplines such as political science, law and sociology would like to get involved. The news media not only reported on the protests but might have served as an influencing force in the process. Communication scholars should also be interested in this major incident as there were multiple media-related phenomena worthy of study. Below are just some examples:
- The rise of new media channels such as LIHKG and Telegram in during the protests and their roles for protesters and ordinary citizens;
- Fake news and rumors were spread from the “blue camp” (supporting the government) and the “yellow camp” (supporting the protests);
- Invention of certain new vocabularies in the movement discourse;
- New forms of communication such as Lennon Walls appeared in different districts and creation of a dedicated song “Glory to Hong Kong”;
- Different forms of protest activities such as shopping mall gatherings, online signature campaigns, human chains, etc.;
- International newspaper advertisements and rallies held in different countries
- Frequent live broadcast by traditional TV organizations as well as online media;
- The roles played by professional journalists, and the controversy brought by some under-aged citizen journalists at the protest frontline;
- Media coverage of the Hong Kong protests by international and mainland China media.
Theories from different communication fields are apt to study the above phenomena, including public opinion, journalism, political communication, cultural studies, international communication, etc. Specific cases or significant dates in the more than 6-month protest period would constitute useful research materials. Traditional events such as street protests and rallies or new media phenomena such as Lennon Wall and international advertising are obvious points of entry. Legacy and new media platforms could be studied and compared. Individual, organizational, societal and international levels of analysis are welcome.
There is no particular preference on the research methods as long as they serve the purpose. Contributors may use interview, survey, case study, content analysis, field observation, big data analysis or a mix of these methods. Qualitative, quantitative, historical and comparative approaches are acceptable.
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The submission deadline for all manuscripts is 31 January, 2021. All submitted manuscripts are subject to a rigorous, blind peer-review process. All accepted manuscripts will be published online first. The planned printed publication date is an issue of CJC in 2022.
Submissions should conform to the editorial guidelines of the Chinese Journal of Communication found at https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rcjc20/current under “Instructions for Authors.”
Papers for consideration in this special issue should be submitted online http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/rcjc and should indicate they are intended for inclusion in the special issue. For inquiries, contact Prof. Clement So at [email protected] or Dr. Chi Kit Chan at [email protected].
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