Zhenghan Gao

Zhenghan Gao Photo

Teaching Assistant

School of Media Communication and Sociology, University of Leicester

Early Career Researcher -- ESRC Accelerating Business Collaborations / Early Career Researcher Fund Project

Email: zg45@le.ac.uk


MA Global Media and Communication, University of Leicester, 2015-2016

BA Broadcast and Television Journalism, Sichuan University of Media and Communication, 2011-2015

PhD Topic


Citizen Journalism and the Doctor-Patient Relationship in Contemporary China

Year of Study

Fourth Year

Brief Description of PhD Topic

Zhenghan’s PhD project explores the interaction between citizen journalism and the doctor-patient relationship in China. Drawing on the media-mediated public sphere as the theoretical framework, while combining the previous studies: eHealth, digital health engagement and citizen health journalism, it discusses how Chinese marketisation healthcare-reform plays a role in the doctor-patient relationship, and it asks whether this is reflected in Chinese public sphere. With the development of Internet technology, what changes have been occurring in the public sphere discussion on healthcare issues (e.g. the doctor-patient relationship) between the mass-media era and the citizen-media era? Zhenghan’s research combines content analysis, corpus linguistics analysis, qualitative semi-structured interviews and focus groups to analysis the characteristics of citizen journalist reporting on the doctor-patient relationship, and the stakeholders’ (doctors, patients, and citizen journalists) understanding and thinking about this reporting.

PhD Supervisors

Dr Qian (Sarah) Gong

Mr Anders Hansen


MS7021: Health Communication in a Global Context (Guest Lecture & Seminar, 2019-2020)

MS7211: The Cultural Industries: Theory, Policy and Practice (Seminar, 2018-2019, 2019-2020)

MS7081: Advertising and Promotion in the digital age (Seminar, 2018-2019)

Research interest

Health communication; public communication; risk and crisis communication; digital journalism; social media and emergency event; audience and reception studies.

Professional service

The International Association of Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) -

Health Communication Research Group Member

School of Media Communication and Sociology, University of Leicester

Health Communication and Wellbeing Research Cluster-Cluster Member

Research seminar: Improving Health Communication and Culturally-sensitive Care for Pregnant Chinese Women with the NHS Maternity Service and Chinese Community (September 2018)-Programme Assistant

Leicester - Communication University of China (CUC) Health Communication Forum (July 2018) - Programme Assistant

Academic project

2021-ongoing: Developing a training toolkit for language translation companies working with the NHS maternity service -Funded by ESRC Accelerating Business Collaborations/Early Career Researcher Fund - Early Career Researcher

This project will be led by a mid-career academic (PI: Dr Sarah Gong) and provide opportunities for two early career researchers (Zhenghan Gao and Jialin Lyu) to engage substantially with language translation and interpretation companies to develop a training toolkit. It aims to develop a training toolkit for language translation companies working with the NHS maternity service. The toolkit will support the training and upskilling of Chinese-English translators and interpreters working in the translation companies and provide them with an animated illustration of maternity care process and a maternity care specific glossary.

2019-2020: Red flags and symptom checkers for self-diagnosis in maternity - Funded by Stillbirth & Neonatal Death Charity (Sands)-Research Assistant

2017-2018: Health communication for pregnant Chinese women in Northern England - an explorative qualitative study- Funded by Wellcome Trust-Research Assistant

2017-2018: Communicating smoking-related health risks – a scoping study of professional and lay understandings in China Principal Investigator - Funded by College of Social Sciences Development Fund-Research Assistant

2013-2014: Mechanism of mainstream media value under the digital media era - Funded by Sichuan Department of Education (In China)-Co-Investigator

Publications (In China)


Gao, Z. (2013), At the Epicenter, Shangdong: Taishan Publishing House.

Academic Journal

Che, N. and Gao, Z. (2014 a), ‘The Analysis of the Effects of Public Opinion Framing on the Reconstruction of Television Media in Post-disaster: Taking the Reconstruction Report in Post-Lushan Earthquake as an Example’ , China Radio & TV Academic Journal, (5), pp.49-53.


Che, N. and Gao, Z. (2014 b), ‘How Media Breaks Through ‘Two Public Opinion Fields’ at an Early Stage of Sudden Social Security Incidents’, Youth Journalist, (15), pp.50-52.

Conference paper:

Gao, Z. and Gong, Q. (2020) ‘Chinese Smokers’ Understanding of Genetic Testing for Smoking Cessation’, Proceedings of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) Annual Conference 2020- 12-17 July, Online.

Conference presentation

‘Citizen Journalism Reporting on the Doctor-patient Relationship: Mediation, Interaction and Public Perceptions in China’ presented at 2nd Communication, Media and Journalism Research Group PGR/ECR Conference, University of Sheffield, UK, 14th January 2021.

‘Citizen Journalism Storytelling on the Doctor-patient Conflict: Mediation, Interaction and Public Perception in China’ presented at 9th International Digital Storytelling Conference, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK, 30th March-1st April 2020.

‘Citizen Journalism and the Doctor-patient Relationship in Contemporary China’ presented at Europe-China Dialogue Summer School (2019), Peking University, Beijing, China, 15th-24th July 2019.

‘Focus group for Doctors and Patients-The Understanding of Chinese Doctor-patient Relationship’ presented at Health Communication in the New Media Era-The 2nd UK-China Health Communication Dialogue, Communication University of China, Beijing, China, 5th July 2019.

‘The Research Design of Research on the Interaction between Citizen Journalism and the Doctor-patient Relationship in Contemporary China’, presented at Leicester-Communication University of China (CUC) Health Communication Forum, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK, 3rd-4th July 2018.

Share this page:

Contact Details

School of Media, Communication and Sociology

Campus based courses
E: mcs-enquiries@le.ac.uk
T: +44(0)116 252 3863

Distance Learning Courses
E: css-dl@le.ac.uk
T: 0116 252 3755

Research degrees (campus-based and distance learning courses)
T: +44(0)116 252 2785
E: MCS-Research@le.ac.uk

University of Leicester
Bankfield House
132 New Walk
United Kingdom

University of Leicester
107-111 Princess Road East
United Kingdom

Student complaints procedure


AccessAble logo

The University of Leicester is committed to equal access to our facilities. DisabledGo has a detailed accessibility guide for Bankfield House.