“The Olympic Torch Burns, and Great Suspicion Blazes” – China Narratives in the German Media during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing 2008

Michael Poerner

Abstract


This paper focuses on the description of China in leading German daily and weekly newspapers during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. On the basis of a brief outline of the main China narratives in German media since the 1950s, this paper analyses China-related articles which were published during the period August 8-15, 2008. It argues that reports on China are mostly based on well established German notions of China and centre around the image of a despotic and/or dangerous China. Therefore, they primarily refer back to the source culture and contain little information of value regarding the target culture.

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