East Asia

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Preventable or Unpreventable Chinese Smog Problem in Media: How Attribution Tells the Story

  • Minghui FanEmail author
  • Shuhua Zhou
  • Panfeng Yu


China’s polluted air has seriously affected the health of the Chinese population. This paper uses attribution theory to investigate how Chinese newspapers and non-Chinese newspapers presented smog in China and attributed causes and responsibilities. Built on previous studies, this study adopted covariation model within attribution theory and painted an interesting picture of smog coverage by Chinese and non-Chinese newspapers because of the apparent differences in perspectives. The criteria further provided folder for elaboration on explaining why the different coverages attributed causes as they did. Implications are discussed.


Attribution Smog Covariation model Media coverage 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Communication and Information SciencesUniversity of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA
  2. 2.Missouri School of JournalismUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA
  3. 3.Hugh Downs School of Human CommunicationArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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