The book examines the tactics and strategies of the more than eight thousand foreign correspondents who converged on Hong Kong for a few days in the summer of 1997 to record one of the last episodes in western colonialism. It tracks the key players and follows the salient issues in this fin de siècle event. It discovers sharp contrasts between the different approaches by journalists from major countries as each tries to fulfill culturally framed expectations and needs of their media institutions. It provides unique insights into the particular concerns of competing national media teams, by comparing them against each other, against local coverage and the official record. The context of this study is the month long period in which Hong Kong's fate as a part of China is decided in a series of ritual events. It demonstrates the contrastive values of media organisations from different cultures and shows how news worthiness is constructed in relative terms according to the cultural imperatives of the media producer.
'Intriguing, always well written of consuming interest to anyone who wonders what happens between an event and its appearance on page or screen.' - Tim Hamlett, South China Morning Post