China's image as perceived by the American public after the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games

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Wang, Sainan
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Suman Lee
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Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication
The Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication offers two majors: Advertising (instructing students in applied communication for work in business or industry), and Journalism and Mass Communication (instructing students in various aspects of news and information organizing, writing, editing, and presentation on various topics and in various platforms). The Department of Agricultural Journalism was formed in 1905 in the Division of Agriculture. In 1925 its name was changed to the Department of Technical Journalism. In 1969 its name changed to the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications; from 1969 to 1989 the department was directed by all four colleges, and in 1989 was placed under the direction of the College of Sciences and Humanities (later College of Liberal Arts and Sciences). In 1998 its name was changed to the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication.
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This study focused on the influence of hosting the Olympics on the country's national image. Based on the 2008 Beijing Olympics, it investigated the relationships among people's perception of the national image dimensions and those of the image that the host country tried to project during the Olympics. This study also examined the routes for the formation of these perceptions. An online survey was conducted.

It was indicated that while majority of the respondents indicated different degrees of attitude change, only small portion reported a complete change of attitude. Also, more than thirty percent of those whose attitude has changed reported a more negative view toward China.

It was found that although respondents were generally favorable toward the 2008 Olympics, the three promoted Olympic concepts were not well received; especially for the concepts of green Olympics and people's Olympics . A lack of clear understanding of the three concepts was also identified among the respondents. Strong correlations were found among most of the national image dimensions and the projected Olympic image. The two lowest rated national image dimensions, government and exports, were found more correlated to the other dimensions and the projected Olympic image.

Traditional media was found to be the dominant information source for both information about China and the Olympics. But personal experience with the Chinese people had become a very important route for information about China. And the internet played a big part in the distribution of information about the 2008 Olympics.

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Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2009