Talk Radio, the Mainstream Press, and Public Opinion in Hong Kong


Francis L. F. Lee

ISBN : 978-988-8208-58-6

Politics, Government, Public Administration Hong Kong Culture and Society

July 2014

288 pages, 6″ x 9″, 9 b&w illus. and 17 tables

  • HK$240.00

Also available in Hardback HK$450.00

Phone-in programs on public and commercial radio channels have been a staple of popular Hong Kong politics since the 1990s. In the absence of a fully democratic system, they have played an influential role in channeling and mediating public opinion. This work examines the phenomenon of talk radio in Hong Kong, using as its analytical framework the idea of remediation. It argues that the circulation and re-circulation of talk radio content through the mainstream media is crucial in explaining the medium’s social prominence and influence. The process has not only widened the dissemination of talk radio content, but also established talk radio as a channel as well as a symbol for free political expression, giving it a role in shaping serious debate not seen in many other societies.

Drawing on interviews with radio personnel, analysis of radio and newspaper content, and audience surveys, Talk Radio explores the vital and influential world of Hong Kong’s phone-in programs. The book will be of interest to scholars of politics, media studies, and cultural studies both in Hong Kong and overseas.

Francis L. F. Lee is Associate Professor and Head of Graduate Division at the School of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

“This is the first comprehensive study on political radio phone-in talk shows that integrates analyses of the historical transformations of the genre, the conversational dynamics and the remediations of citizens’ voices. Exceptionally rich in data, rigorous, and written in an accessible style, it contributes significantly to the fields of media studies, discourse analyses, public opinion and political communication.” —Mats Ekström, Professor, Department of Journalism, Media and Communication, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

“One of the most exciting developments in Hong Kong is the rise of talk radio as an interface between the political and public spheres. As this new volume demonstrates, no one is more qualified to discuss this process than Francis L. F. Lee, one of the most original analysts of modern Hong Kong and its media landscape.” —Gary Rawnsley, author of Political Communications and Democracy and editor of Routledge Handbook of Chinese Media

“A fascinating and extensively researched study of political opinion, the general public, and the mass media in Hong Kong.” —Jan Servaes, editor of Sustainable Development and Green Communication: African and Asian Perspectives and author of Communication for Development: One World, Multiple Cultures