Investigating crisis communication strategies in a government operating system
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This study applies Coombs’s crisis response strategies, Benoit’s image restoration theory, and Grunig’s excellence theory as theoretical frames to investigate the Chinese Government’s response and image restoration following to the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. This study serves as a test on the applicability of these theories in the context of China, a country in which the political culture of authoritarian communist party leadership plays a crucial role. Through content analysis of prominent media coverage and government released materials, buttressed by case studies of public evaluations, this study indicates that the Chinese Government established a new credible and transparent government communication style after the earthquake in comparison with its handling of SARS Crisis of 2002.