Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (MPHIL)


Social Sciences


Political Sciences

First Advisor

Prof. TAM Wai Keung

Second Advisor

Prof. LI Pang Kwong


In contemporary societies, the role of the mass media is indispensable in the process of opinion formation on public policies and the mass media is also the major communicative setting that offers an arena for truly public deliberation, in other words, the public deliberation process in contemporary societies is largely mediated with the help of professional communicators. As such, the role of the mass media in constructing mediated deliberation is important in contemporary societies, but this research field is still somewhat underdeveloped.

This thesis investigates the role of Hong Kong newspapers in constructing mediated deliberation and measures the deliberative quality of Hong Kong newspapers. Specifically, this thesis examines whether and to what extent Hong Kong newspapers could make a contribution to the public deliberation process by offering deliberative elements. I have selected two Hong Kong’s infrastructure disputes as case studies to assess the performance of Hong Kong newspapers in handling these two disputes. The first case is the construction of the Hong Kong Section of the Express Rail Link (HKS). The second case is the construction of Three-Runway System at the Hong Kong International Airport (3RS).This study is based on content analysis of editorials and op-eds in Hong Kong newspapers. It investigates the deliberative quality of Hong Kong newspapers through four main perspectives: the adequacy of media coverage on the selected cases; the diversity of viewpoints; the quality of reason-giving; and the degree of responsiveness and respectfulness. The corpus of the analyzed articles amounts to 217 pieces from 4 major Chinese-language newspapers in Hong Kong.

The research findings present a mixed picture. The findings suggest that Hong Kong newspapers had a relatively better performance on some of the measurement criteria, such as the quality of reason-giving. On the other hand, the findings also show that Hong Kong newspapers failed on some of the key themes that deliberative democracy theorists highlighted as important to an effective public deliberation process.


mediated deliberation, deliberative democracy, Hong Kong, content analysis, newspaper coverage



Recommended Citation

Ng, K. C. (2019). Measuring mediated deliberation in Hong Kong newspapers: Case studies of the Hong Kong section of the Express Rail Link and the Hong Kong International Airport three-vumway system construction projects (Master's thesis, Lingnan University, Hong Kong). Retrieved from