Making the world a distant place? How foreign TV news affects individual cynicism in post-colonial Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)715-731
Journal / PublicationInternational Communication Gazette
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


This article examines the psychological impact of foreign television news on political cynicism in Hong Kong. The authors hypothesize that exposure to the prevalent negative events and conflicts in international news will lead to the audience's cynical perception of the world. Given Hong Kong's colonial history and its highly mobile population, the study further investigates the role of individual globality and immigration status in the process. A random digit dialing telephone survey was conducted in 2009 to select a sample of 600 Hong Kong residents aged between 18 and 70. The results show that individual attention to foreign news of deviance was positively associated with political cynicism among those first-generation immigrants who were born in mainland China or elsewhere, but negatively related among local Hong Kongers. The implications of the findings are discussed. © The Author(s) 2013.

Research Area(s)

  • Cynicism, foreign news, globality, Hong Kong, television news