Making the news : environmental NGOs and their media visibility in China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-413
Journal / PublicationChinese Journal of Communication
Issue number4
Online published11 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


This study was conducted to examine the factors that affect the media visibility of environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGO) in China. Specifically, we examine the ways in which environmental advocacy and media use behaviors are related to the level of attention an ENGO receives from news media. Using data derived from a content analysis of 2158 media reports by 171 ENGOs across China and other sources, the results showed that ENGOs that have an official website and use Weibo garner more media attention than those who do not have a website or use Weibo. Most importantly, the results indicate differences between environmental activism and environmental consumerism in facilitating the media visibility of different types of ENGOs. Compared to government-organized ENGOs, grassroots ENGOs benefit more from participating in environmental consumerist advocacy and having an official website. The findings demonstrate the importance of using various strategies to increase organizational visibility in news media and highlighting the differences between using websites, Weibo, and WeChat in facilitating the media visibility of ENGOs in China.

Research Area(s)

  • China, ENGO, environmental advocacy, media visibility, social media