How, you ask, is coverage of Hong Kong’s “Occupy” movement — the so-called “umbrella revolution” — shaping up inside China? Well, here we go.
First for a bit of trivia. The term “umbrella revolution,” or yusan geming (雨伞革命), which emerged on social media on September 28th, when Hong Kong police used tear gas and pepper spray against protesters who defended themselves with umbrellas — and which has since been further popularized by both Hong Kong and international media — has only ever appeared in three mainland news items. All of these were issued by the official China News Service between October 3 and October 5, as follows:
October 3 — “10 Questions About Hong Kong’s ‘Occupy Central'” (香港“占中”十问) October 4 — “Color Revolution: Western Media Label Hong Kong’s ‘Occupy Central'” (颜色革命：西方媒体定性香港“占中”) October 5 — “Western Media Define Hong Kong’s ‘Occupy Central’ as a Color Revolution” (西方媒体定性香港“占中”为“颜色革命”)
In fact, though issued on separate days, the October 4 and 5 news releases are virtually identical. So we have in essence two articles using the term “umbrella revolution,” both of which frame coverage of ‘Occupy Central’ by “Western media” as exposing the “British and American intention of promoting the transformation of ‘Occupy Central’ into a so-called ‘color revolution.'”
The article notes ominously: “There are black hands at work behind this ‘Occupy Central’ movement, which bears the shadow of the West.”
The foreign conspiracy frame has been one of the most widely used in Chinese coverage (we use the word generously) of the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. And not surprisingly, we see it again in today’s coverage. On page 10 today, in an article called, “Opposition Party Visits America to Work On the ‘Script’ (反对派访美策划“剧本”), the Chinese-language Global Times “exposes” the way the United States has attempted to influence affairs in Hong Kong through grant programs like the National Endowment for Democracy.
Here is a list of the story frames we find in mainland Chinese coverage of the Hong Kong protests today. (I welcome contributions if anyone else thinks they spot a fifth or sixth):
 Economic Doom: the Hong Kong protests are causing untold economic damage, with daily losses to the dining industry alone topping 50 million Hong Kong dollars daily, and estimated total damage to the economy (undefined) of 350 billion Hong Kong dollars since the protests began. Or as the People’s Daily (overseas edition) says so poetically today: “It’s like the electricity is suddenly turned off. During the first hour the impact isn’t serious, at most some of the things in the refrigerator are affected. But when it goes on longer, everything in the refrigerator goes bad.”  Foreign Conspiracies: Protests in Hong Kong were fomented and supported by “hostile forces” (敌对势力) from outside China, represented by grant programs like the National Endowment of Democracy and the National Democratic Institute.  Rule of Law Under Assault and Creeping Chaos: The Hong Kong protests have been a “serious attack” on Hong Kong tradition of rule of law, showing the world a chaotic Hong Kong that it doesn’t recognize. Far from demonstrating the need for “true universal elections” (真普选), the protests have show that “the development of democracy can only proceed incrementally.”  No One Really Cares: Xinhua visits the protest site and finds that the number of protesters has fallen dramatically, most students having gone back to class. At campuses across Hong Kong, Xinhua finds that the students are back, busy attending classes — and posters for academic and cultural events have replaced calls for student boycotts.
Those themes describe with fair accuracy the type of coverage we see in China’s media today. But where are these reports coming from?
Well, we have a total of 28 articles (with significant overlap) in the mainland press today, according to the WiseNews database. The database does not comprehensively cover the internet, but our cursory search suggests that the stories circulating through major Chinese news portals are on the following list.
Of the 28 total stories today, 17 appear in Chinese newspapers, the rest online through the official China News (chinanews.com). The stories are predominantly from Xinhua News Agency (9 total), the People’s Daily (5 total), the People’s Daily spin-off Beijing Times (4 total) and the Global Times (4 total).
The rest of the stories are all from financial newspapers or deal with the financial impact of the protests in Hong Kong. They are found in the Securities Times, the China Business Times, First Financial Daily, the Beijing Economic Times, Beijing Business Today and the Beijing Morning Post. The coverage in these newspapers is not clearly labeled as being from either official news agency, Xinhua or China News Service, but they report essentially the same information about the markets.
David is co-director of the China Media Project, and editor of the project’s website. He is the author of Dragons in Diamond Village (Penguin), a book of reportage about urbanisation and social activism in China, and co-editor of Investigative Journalism in China (HKU Press). His writings have appeared in the New York Times, the Far Eastern Economic Review, the Wall Street Journal, Index on Censorship, the South China Morning Post and others. He received a Human Rights Press Award in 2007 for an explanatory feature about China’s Internet censorship guidelines. David is a producer of Chinese independent films through his Hong Kong production company, Lantern Films. He has a Master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Mr. Bandurski is an honorary lecturer at the Journalism & Media Studies Centre at the University of Hong Kong.