Recipient of 2012 CPD Best Student Paper Prize Announced

The USC Center on Public Diplomacy is pleased to announce Xinru Ma, MPD '13, as the recipient of the 2012 CPD Prize for Best Student Paper in Public Diplomacy. Her paper titled "Beyond the Economic Ties: EU in the Chinese Media" examines the perceptions of the Chinese public regarding the European Union and the role the Chinese media plays in crafting the public's perception. Using a six-month media analysis of EU-related content from the leading Chinese papers, Xinhua Net and China Daily, Xinru concluded that while the EU has a strong economic presence in China, it does not receive nearly enough media exposure and needs to build connections with Chinese EU specialists. Furthermore, she recommends the EU continue to expand people-to-people dialogue through international exchanges, both cultural and academic.

Selected from a number of excellent nominations made by faculty in the Master of Public Diplomacy (MPD) program at the University of Southern California, Xinru's paper outlines the importance of understanding and listening to a foreign public's perception in order to better achieve policy goals as they relate to that country.

Mai'a Cross, professor of the European Union and Public Diplomacy course for the MPD program for which Xinru wrote the paper remarked "The paper showcases original and extensive, primary research using a media content analysis method. Xinru chose to investigate an important research question that has not received much attention. Her findings reveal important insights into how the Chinese media views the EU."

Philip Seib, Director of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, said “This superb paper features perceptive analysis of a most significant topic. As the relationship between China and the EU matures, this kind of research will be indispensable to policy makers and scholars.”

Robert Banks, professor in the Master of Public Diplomacy program at USC and CPD's 2009-2011 Public Diplomat-in-Residence added "Ms. Ma's paper impresses by virtue of the sheer depth and scope of the work and her commitment not just to analyzing the perception of the EU in the Chinese media, but also to offering insightful policy prescriptions for how the EU might work to improve its standing in China, including revitalizing its use of public diplomacy."

About Xinru Ma
As a candidate for a Master’s in Public Diplomacy at USC, Xinru has strong interests in Sino-US relations, especially the projection of China's hard and soft power and its implications on the foreign policies of both countries. Currently, she is a PDiN contributing researcher at USC Center on Public Diplomacy.

Prior to Annenberg, Xinru was an honor graduate from Shanghai International Studies University with double degrees in Journalism and French. She has gained a deep understanding of China's public diplomacy initiatives by interning in multiple governmental departments of China. In Xinhua News Agency and 21st Century Business Herald, she interviewed high-level dignitaries such as China’s foreign minister Li Zhaoxing, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Wilbur Ross. In Shanghai Foreign Affairs Bureau and Center for Global Public Opinion of China, Xinru coordinated multiple research projects for the government on global public opinion of the 2008 Olympic Games, 2010 Shanghai Expo, and China’s economic development. In the future, Xinru wants to focus on international broadcasting and cultural diplomacy.

To read the full paper, click here [PDF].

To read previous award-winning papers in this collection, click here.

About the CPD Prize for Best Student Paper
Launched in 2009, the annual prize is intended to recognize and publicize an outstanding contribution to the field of public diplomacy by a first year graduate student in USC's Master of Public Diplomacy Program (MPD).

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