//↗You need to be RUTHless // : entertaining cross-cultural differences

Winnie Cheng, Martin John Warren

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


This paper presents an analysis of the potential problems of importing media communication in the form of a television programme from another culture. In Hong Kong, as elsewhere in the world, the local television companies frequently buy successful television programmes from, for example, the USA or Britain with the expectation that they will be similarly successful in Hong Kong. One such example in Hong Kong was a quiz show that was bought from a British television company and then replicated in Hong Kong using local Hong Kong Chinese as the contestants and quiz show host. This show has been a huge success in Britain and it was anticipated that this success would be repeated in Hong Kong by following exactly the same format and presentation. In fact, this did not turn out to be the case. Our analysis helps to reveal the problems experienced and a cross-cultural analysis offers explanations for them. It is shown that media communication can be perceived very differently across different cultures and the findings demonstrate that a better understanding of the dynamics of cross-cultural and intercultural communication would be useful for our television programmers and others working in the mass media.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-56
Number of pages22
JournalLanguage and Intercultural Communication
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • The Weakest Link
  • Cross-cultural communication
  • Media communication
  • Discourse intonation
  • Quiz show in Hong Kong

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Communication


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