1.0 Introduction 引言
In January 2013, Mainland China's Hunan Satellite TV launched the first new TV show called “I am a singer”. This show is produced and broadcasted by Hunan TV and yet broadcasted, it has evoked the widespread discussion. With the broadcast of everything single episode, the extent and scope of the discussion became more and more. After every episode broadcast, it occupied the first rank of the searching volume in “Sina Weibo” (which is launched by Sina, providing micro-blog site service. Users can publish the information with Chinese characters through webpage, external program and mobile phone short message, multimedia message, and upload pictures and link videos for real-time sharing). And the click through rate has gained more than one hundred and twenty million times in the overall well-known sites. It has the highest program ratings, which was far beyond other television programs at the meantime. It set off a wave of “I am a singer” discussion. With the success of “I'm a singer”, the other television stations have also launched the same type of music program to divide the viewing market after “I'm a singer” show ended.
In this program, one of the Hong Kong singers, GEM Tang became popular in a short period because of this program. Worth to enhance, reputation also got higher. At the same time, the people who against her voice are relatively more and more. Among that, which include a variety of reasons. There are identity problems, contradictions between China and Hong Kong, also some personal point of views. Hong Kong people like her from the beginning, to slowly become hate her. She become the object of discussion, and even spoof of the object. Discuss from her appearance, to discuss her singing skills, attitude, behavior and clothing, which have become the subject of Hong Kong people gossip. In this discussion, we will study the reasons why the above problems happened, how the political environment in Hong Kong changed, and how these affect Hong Kong celebrities’ perceptions.
Encoding – construction
According to Stuart Hall’s Encoding/ Decoding model (1973), Mass media is always a concept of communication of circulation circuit which has been known as linearity – sender /message/ receiver. Nevertheless, a further specificity forms have been being proposed by Marx was production/ distribution/ production which appears in our media system. Stuart Hall has fully elaborated what television discourse is. In terms of encoding, he claimed that the production of message is to encode message, which is sent to audience for being decoded. Which means the TV program “I’m a singer” that producer made which sent to audience to decode. The most important thing is how the message is encoded for audience to receive and understand. The producer (sender) will use codes including images, sound, words, body language, and facial expressions to deliver messages. It refers to messages delivered in an easier way.
Decoding – interpretation
As the terms of decoding, it actually is the opposite meaning of encoding. It is about how it works on the audience (receiver). When the messages are delivered by the sender, the receiver would understand and interpret the messages by their own way. And it is a process of translation of the information which transformed to be a completed message. Sometimes, “distortions and misunderstanding” can happen because the receiver can understand the message in different way from the sender wanted to tell. Here is a problem. As Stuart Hall claimed, “The codes of encoding and decoding may not be perfectly symmetrical. The degrees of symmetry refer to the degrees of ‘understanding’ and ‘misunderstanding’ in the communicative exchange established between the position of the ‘personifications’, encoder – producer and decoder – receiver.” The receivers decode the same messages can be totally different depends on their gender, ages, identity, social status, class and etc. With the consideration of it, the audience who watch the television may have a variety of points of views with the same TV program.
In the early 1900s (Hall, 1973), the theory of communication sciences took audience as passive audience of information communication, the research on communication effect still mainly focused on the communication system itself, but in reality, television producers found that their information was not properly understood by audience, TV program makers wanted to take a series of measures to promote the "effectiveness" of communication. However, based on these traditional communication theories did not help to improve communication results. Decoding is to extract information from communication symbols. Hall divides the position of viewers for TV decoding information into three parts.
2.1. Dominant-hegemonic position
Dominant - hegemonic position refers to decoding practice of TV viewers within the scope of dominant codes, they make sense of meaning directly from TV news broadcasts or current affairs program, and according to the reference codes of information encoding to decode information (Hall, 1973). Hall calls this ideal television transmission mode "fully transparent communication". In simple terms, dominant - hegemonic position is that the decoding position of viewers and the encoding position of television producers or position of professional codes are exactly the same, encoding and decoding accord.
2.2. Negotiated position
Hall explains that television audience on the one hand recognizes the authority of dominant ideology, but on the other hand, they also emphasize their particular circumstances, there is a consultation process full of contradictions between the two (Hall, 1973). Hall cites an example, workers watching television news can agree with the point of view of news - a wage increase will lead to inflation, but they still participate in a strike for higher wages.
2.3. Oppositional position
Hall believes that TV viewers may fully understand the twists and turns of changes of literal meaning and connotation that language brings, but in a completely opposite way to decode the information (Hall, 1973). This means that television viewers can understand the “code” of TV words, but they choose their own decoding position, based on their experience and background to interpret entirely differently from what coders mean.
Hong Kong is a relatively open society, the culture and ideology of the society is diverse. Under these conditions, people in Hong Kong are no longer the audience under the authority to only accept the views of the mainstream media passively, but the audience who can analyze independently and speak out fully (Lee, Chen and Chan, 2017). Therefore, although the media in mainland China praise GEM highly, the people in Hong Kong will not decode according to the information conveyed by the mainland media, they will take more account of their position. Therefore, they took a oppositional position in interpretation of GEM’s performance.
The directness, interactive, open, arbitrary characteristics of the Internet provide a platform for people to discuss and show themselves freely. This advantage is not available in traditional media. In the Internet age, people are not passive recipients of information, they can use the network to convey their different views (Porten-Cheé and Eilders, 2015; Lee, Chen and Chan, 2017), therefore, although GEM is belaud by the media in mainland China, the people in Hong Kong will decode her performances according to their position, and they show their dissatisfaction with GEM through the Internet, in fact, there are Internet users in Hong Kong who criticize GEM most, they are through online message to discuss the dissatisfaction with GEM. Pang et al. (2016) put forward that the theory of psychological spiral believes that people always have more or less group psychology. People are always afraid of being isolated, when their opinions are not in agreement with the opinions of the majority, they are unable to speak out their opinions. Thus, dominant or increasingly supportive opinions will gain ground. And more and more individuals who find these trends will correspondingly change their views, then this group will be more dominant, the other is even worse, in this process, the views is continuously established as the main views (Pang et al., 2016). Considering from the case of GEM, there were a part of the audiences who have supported GEM at the beginning, once they found that there were opinions on the Internet attacking GEM, they would probably abandon their own support opinions and understanding to avoid being isolated, turning to support the majority of confrontational opinion.